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Morning Market Roundup: EU vs. Microsoft Antitrust, Futures up, Coke Profit Down

Morning Market Roundup: EU vs. Microsoft Antitrust, Futures up, Coke Profit Down

Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

Microsoft Antitrust: The EU's executive body, the European Commission, announced Tuesday that it was opening an investigation into whether Microsoft has kept the antitrust commitments it made in 2009, and warned that penalties for non-compliance would be "severe."

Microsoft conceded it had "fallen short" of its obligation to provide the "browser choice screen," or BCS. The choice screen would allow users of Microsoft's Windows operating systems to select a browser other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Kirk Koenigbauer, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Office Division, speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters it appeared that the choice screen, promised by Microsoft in 2009 following an antitrust case, has not been provided since February 2011, meaning 28 million customers who should have seen it may not have.

Microsoft submitted a report to the Commission in December asserting that the browser choice screen was being provided as required. In its statement Tuesday, the company said it believed at the time that was the case.

The company said it had retained outside to conduct a formal investigation of how the technical error occurred and to make suggestions to avoid such compliance problems in the future.

It also said that it was offering to extend the time during which it is obligated to display the choice screen by an additional 15 months.

Goldman: Goldman Sachs says its net income fell 11 percent in the April-to-June period after the investment bank's clients made fewer deals and avoided volatility in global financial markets.

The New York bank said its net income fell to $962 million, or $1.78 per share, for the quarter. That compares with $1.09 billion, or $1.85 per share, a year ago. It's also far more than the $1.17 per share that analysts were expecting.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 declined 9 percent to $6.63 billion. That was more than Wall Street's forecast of $6.2 billion.

Goldman Sachs' stock climbed $2.50 to $100.18 in premarket trading.

U.S. Futures: Stock futures rose Tuesday ahead of an appearance by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Capitol Hill, with many looking for hints of new stimulus measures for the economy.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 44 points to 12,692. Standard & Poor's 500 futures tacked on 4.9 points to 1,352.30 and Nasdaq futures added 11.25 points to 2,582.75.

Prices are rising for everyone, though mildly.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that overall consumer prices were unchanged in June thanks to falling gas prices. Food prices edged up 0.2 percent after a flat reading in May.

Coca-Cola: The Coca-Cola Co. says its net income slipped in the second quarter from a year ago, as rising costs for ingredients offset its expansion overseas.

The world's biggest beverage maker - which makes Minute Maid, Powerade and Dasani - says revenue growth was powered by higher prices in the U.S. and expansion in emerging markets such as India, where volume rose 20 percent.

But the company also paid more for ingredients and saw sales volume in Europe fall 4 percent. The company blamed economic uncertainty and bad weather in several regions for the drop.

Back in North America, the Atlanta-based company said sales volume rose 1 percent, while a mix of higher prices and a variety of smaller bottles and cans helped lift revenue 5 percent. However, volume for its flagship sparkling beverages - or sodas such as Coke and Sprite - fell 2 percent.

For the three months ended June 29, the company said it earned $2.79 billion, or $1.21 per share. That's down from $2.8 billion, or $1.20 per share, in the year-ago period, when there were more outstanding shares.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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