RE "Please explain how the European Commission has been incompetent."
Well there has to be some explanation for why not only MS but apparently world+wife+dog failed to notice this snafu. After all the competition authorities are supposed to police these agreements and apparently were completely oblivious for about a year and a half. This of course does not in any way excuse Redmond's cluster-fuck and it is to be hoped that they will indeed be very heavily fined. However, to paraphrase one of Conan-Doyle's most famous Sherlock Holmes short stories we still have the mystery of the dog(s) that did not bark. How is it that, apparently, nobody noticed for seventeen months?