European competition commissioner Karel Van Miert said Microsoft "seems to be ready to offer remedies" to address concerns over its contracts with Internet service providers.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, van Miert said Microsoft appears to want to settle a current test case (see previous stories). This covers ISP protests that Microsoft has pressurised them to offer its Internet Explorer as the prime browser on their services.
"In the second case we have been looking at, Microsoft seems to be ready to offer in due time remedies so the Commission does not have to bring it to a final decision," van Miert said. "It is to do with contracts with service providers and taking out clauses that fly in the face of competition rules."
A senior Commission official confirmed that van Miert was talking about 24 contracts between Microsoft and ISPs on the "browser issue".
Van Miert also noted that he is cooperating closely with the US authorities on investigating Microsoft.
Microsoft has shown a more conciliatory attitude to recent EC investigations than it has in its sparring with the US Department of Justice over browser antitrust issues. Last December, it negotiated a settlement with the EC of a major case concerning its licensing deal with Unix software house Santa Cruz Operation (see Newswire 2 December).
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