Microsoft Fined $731 Million by EU for Violating Browser Accord
By Aoife White - 2013-03-06T11:25:00Z
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was fined 561 million euros ($731 million) by European Union regulators for violating the terms of a settlement to give users a choice of web browsers aside from its Internet Explorer.
Today’s fine -- about 1 percent of the company’s 2012 revenues -- brings to 2.24 billion euros the penalties faced by Microsoft in its EU antitrust clashes over the past decade, including an 899 million-euro fine for failing to obey an order to share data with competitors.
“A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in an e-mailed statement today.
The world’s largest software maker agreed in 2009 to offer access to rival browsers as a part of a settlement to repair its relationship with the bloc’s regulators. The company said last July it only learned that month that it didn’t offer its browser choice software to some 28 million computers running Windows 7 Service Pack 1, or 10 percent of the computers that should have received it.
Under the terms of Microsoft’s 2009 pledge, consumers who bought personal computers were given a choice of the 12 most widely used browsers to install in addition to, or instead of, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
The Redmond, Washington-based company told regulators in December 2011 that it was complying with its commitment to display a browser-choice screen to users of its Windows operating system.
Is there any computer user out there that actually has no idea that you can use a browser other then IE, let alone the few seconds it takes to get a hold of and install a new one?