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EU prepares to charge Microsoft over 'technical error' with Windows 7 browser choice

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Microsoft Logo (Verge Stock)
Microsoft Logo (Verge Stock)

European Union (EU) regulators are set to charge Microsoft for breaching the terms of a landmark 2009 antitrust settlement by failing to provide a clear choice of web browsers in Windows 7 Service Pack 1, according to a report from Reuters. The issue first emerged back in July, when the European Commission (EC) — the EU's executive body — formally announced its intentions to open proceedings against the company. Microsoft admitted the "technical error" the same day, emphasizing that it had taken "immediate steps" to correct the problem.

"The next step is to open a formal proceeding into the company's breach of an agreement," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia reportedly told journalists today. "It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement." Microsoft remains under investigation over similar allegations related to its Windows RT system, first brought by rival Mozilla. In a clear sign that it is seeking to avoid further complications, the company recently rolled out an update for Windows 8 which implements a very prominent browser choice option.