Microsoft Fined $732 Million by EU

By Naveen Athrappully, Epoch Times
March 7, 2013 Updated: October 1, 2015
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia poses during a meeting at the European Commission on March 6, 2013 in Brussels. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union has slapped Microsoft with yet another fine. This one for violating the terms of its settlement of an anti-trust case in 2009. Microsoft failed in letting users know that they could use a web browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer on their Windows-based PCs.

Microsoft, according to the case, was obligated to give browser choices to European users of Windows, instead of defaulting to their Internet Explorer. The ruling was to be complied until 2014. But, an EU investigation now found that the company did not honor that commitment in the Windows 7 Service Pack, released between May 2011 and July 2012, which left some 15 million users without choice in default browser.

Microsoft has said in a statement that it will not contest the verdict and admitted the mistake happened due to a “technical error”.

Microsoft has been fined exorbitant amounts in billions of dollars by the European Commission in past, due to unfair business practices. But with global revenues of $73.72 billion in 2012, the pockets are deep for the software behemoth for weathering such issues.

Interestingly it was Microsoft that reported the lapse, which was later confirmed by EU investigators. “In theory the watchdog could have fined the firm 10 per cent of its global annual revenue, which would have totaled $7.4 bn based on its 2012 report,” reports the BBC.