Despite the rhetoric, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and the European Commission may actually be on speaking terms. The two parties are in early talks to settle both the Commission’s investigation into whether the company has stifled competition by bundling Internet Explorer and Windows together, as well as a second investigation looking at Microsoft Word and Excel, according to Bloomberg News, which cites unnamed sources. No details about what each side is offering. A Microsoft spokesman would not comment to paidContent.
The Commission said earlier this year that its “preliminary view” was that Microsoft had violated European anti-trust law in the browser case. Microsoft has said that the Commission wants it to pay a “significant fine based on worldwide sales of Windows operating systems” and also might require it to distribute several browsers on new PCs. Last month, Microsoft said it would offer a version of its new Windows 7 operating system without Internet Explorer in Europe, but that move did not seem to placate Commission officials, who said that “Rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.