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EC Admits to Being ‘Naïve’

Almunia still wants to use such deals to avoid protracted legal battles but figures enforcement has to be tightened up

After fining Microsoft $733 million for unintentionally flouting an antitrust settlement with regulators, the European Commission took some of the blame.

Antitrust czar Joaquín Almunia said the EU had been "naïve" to let Microsoft monitor its own adherence to the 2009 deal that let it escape a fine in exchange for offering European Windows users a choice of browsers.

The non-appearance of the ballot screen was reported by Microsoft rivals and even that took a while.

Almunia still wants to use such deals to avoid protracted legal battles but figures enforcement has to be tightened up and that the EC will be more inclined to use trustees. Whether that will happen now in Microsoft's case is unclear.

The substantial fine levied on Microsoft is supposed to serve as a warning to others.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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