A settlement on Microsoft’s long-running European anti-trust case seems near after the EC said it provisionally accepted Microsoft's latest proposal on the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.
Commissioner for competition policy Neelie Kroes said she would consult with the industry before approving the plan, but said “the commission's preliminary view is that Microsoft's commitments would indeed address our competition concerns.”
Microsoft has proposed that all copies of Windows shipped in Europe will come with a screen giving consumers the option to choose which web browser to install.
This option was first offered in July, but after informal discussions with the industry the EC decided to ask Microsoft to improve the screen.
Under the revised plan, the screen would also first explain what web browsers are, and provide a link to more information for each browser.
“Microsoft's proposal in particular recognizes the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of web browser,” Kroes said.
“It would empower all current and future users of Windows in Europe to choose which browser they wished to use. It would therefore have a direct and immediate impact on the market.”
Microsoft's commitment would remain in place for five years.