The European Commission has agreed to drop its Internet browser case against Microsoft. The US software giant is getting out of a ten-year battle (over whether it was abusing its market dominance) without a fine. It has accepted a legally binding commitment to market rival browsers alongside its own Internet Explorer.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes welcomed wiping the slate clean in time for Christmas: “I sincerely hope that today’s decision closes a long chapter in Microsoft’s sometimes uneasy relationship with the Commission and opens a new positive one.”
Microsoft has been fined almost 1.7 billion euros by the European fair competition authority in other business practice disagreements. Interoperability monitoring is set to continue for a while yet. In the meantime, Windows operating system users in Europe will be able to pick and choose from 12 of the most widely used Web browsers, presented randomly.