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Microsoft fined $730M by EU over browser choice failure

updated 09:59 am EST, Wed March 6, 2013

Fine for lack of browser choice screen in Windows 7 Service Pack

The European Commission has handed Microsoft a hefty fine for not complying with a Commission order. The fine of 561 million euros ($730 million) stems from Microsoft failing to offer customers using Windows 7 Service Pack 1 the choice of default browser between May 2011 until July 2012, as part of commitments from a previous EC decision.

The Commission claims that around 15 million Windows users in the EU failed to see the web browser ballot screen, something which Microsoft blamed on a technical problem.

Commission vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia spoke about the legally binding commitments that Microsoft agreed to after its investigation, stating "A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly." It is also noted that this is the first instance where the Commission has fined a company for non-compliance of its decision, and that it took into account Microsoft's cooperation during the investigation when working out the exact value of the fine.

Microsoft has released a statement saying it will not be appealing the fine, and is taking full responsibility for the error. With a similar issue occuring in Windows 8, the Microsoft board of directors have already deducted part of CEO Steve Ballmer's bonus in October for the error's reappearance.

by MacNN Staff



  1. freddymac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-23-10

    Go Monkey Boy

    Your doing a FANTASTIC job. keep it up.

  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-11-05

    How can MS BoD keep Balmer

    First, I own no known (could be in mutual funds) shares of Microsoft; but, if I knowingly did, I'd be quite a dissatisfied shareholder that Balmer is still running the company. What is the Board of Directors thinking? How can a giant like Microsoft fail to adhere to rulings in the EU that were clearly defined 1-3 years ago in the first attack on it's monopolistic desktop architecture? How can you simply ignore a potential fine of this magnitude AND still be considered a competent CEO? (...or BoD for that matter!) Simply unbelievable.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    BoD should keep Balmer

    I think he's doing a great job. He's a perfect fit for the company. A mediocre CEO for a mediocre company with mediocre products. He was born to do this.

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