EU to hit Microsoft, again

Every few years, the European Union takes another bite out of Microsoft's (MSFT) business in the region. All of the actions are based on antitrust laws, and most have to do with the bundling of the company's Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system. The belief among EU antitrust officials is that this shuts other browsers like Firefox out of the market.

The EU does not appear to be happy with Microsoft's efforts to date to cooperate on the browser issue so it is getting ready for another round of sanctions. According toThe Wall Street Journal. "Rather than forcing Microsoft to strip its Internet Explorer from Windows, people close to the case say, the EU is now ready to try the opposite measure: Forcing a bunch of browsers into Windows, thus diluting Microsoft's advantage."

The punishment does not make much sense given the inroads that Firefox and Google's (GOOG) Chrome product are already making. Microsoft is losing browser market share every year.

The EU ought to let the free markets take their own course. Whatever advantage IE had at one time, it is being eaten away by the natural course of competition.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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