The EC sent a statement of objections to Microsoft relating to the tying of Microsoft’s web browser Internet Explorer to the Windows PC operating system. Microsoft is dominant in the supply of PC operating systems, with a global market share of over 90%. The EC argues that by tying Internet Explorer to Windows, Microsoft provides its web browser with an unfair advantage over competitors. If these preliminary findings are confirmed, the EC may order Microsoft to offer customers a choice of browsers (Microsoft already allows Windows 7 users to remove Internet Explorer and to use other browsers). It may also impose a significant fine on Microsoft. The EC is also currently investigating Microsoft’s alleged failure to disclose interoperability information across a broad range of software products, including its Office suite and the .NET Network. Several competitors, including Google and Mozilla, have reportedly joined the investigations and testified against Microsoft.
The EC has previously fined Microsoft a total of €1.68 billion for the tying of Windows Media Player to Windows, restricting interoperability between Windows PCs and non-Microsoft work group servers, and failing to comply with the EC ’s injunctions. In 2007, the EU Court of First Instance rejected Microsoft’s appeal against the EC ’s decision.