European Commission probes Microsoft again
The European Commission has made clear that it is pursuing a broader policy objective of ensuring swift finality to cases in dynamic markets through settlements and commitments. The Commission believes that this serves the consumer better than fining decisions after years of investigations. Such a policy can only be effective, however, if the commitments are properly observed by the companies involved and monitored by the authorities. The Commission is clearly willing to step up monitoring efforts.
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In a speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges on 14 January 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Commissioner responsible for Competition, stated that the Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel investigations in 2013, using the settlement procedure instituted in July 2008.
On 24 January 2013, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee of the European Parliament endorsed a new Regulation setting out customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.