|By Maureen O'Gara||
|March 10, 2013 03:00 PM EDT||
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.