Microsoft And EU Close To Agreement On Browser Choice

    October 7, 2009

The European Commission said Wednesday it will invite comments from consumers and software companies about an improved proposal by Microsoft to allow users to choose other Web browsers.

The improved proposal by Microsoft comes after the Commission expressed concerns that the company may have infringed EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position by tying its web browser to its Windows operating system.

Kroes, Neelie
Competition Commissioner
Neelie Kroes

"The Commission’s preliminary view is that Microsoft’s commitments would indeed address our competition concerns," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a news conference.

"The important thing is that the user would have a meaningful choice between Internet Explorer and its competitors," she said

Microsoft’s improved proposal includes presenting users with a first screen explaining what web browsers are. "Tell me more" buttons for each browser would allow users to learn more about the browser they want to install.

"We welcome today’s announcement by the European Commission to move forward with formal market testing of Microsoft’s proposal relating to web browser choice in Europe," Microsoft said in a statement.

"For Microsoft, today’s decision is a significant step toward closing a decade-long chapter of competition law concerns in Europe."