Mar 7, 2013

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Microsoft fined $731 million for not promoting browsers

Browser Choice Screen
A report from BBC that Microsoft was fined by the European Union with €561 million ($731 million) for not promoting rival web browser browsers to its Internet Explorer.

Recently, Windows has been in trouble with the EU over anti-competitive practices, after conforming to bring out the Browser Choice Screen in March 2010 as a part of a settlement.
Microsoft still removed the choice in their Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update last February 2011. With this, Internet Explorer was set as the default browser. After receiving some complaints coming from the EU, the feature was added again. According to Microsoft, removing the choice was caused by a technical error but the European authorities didn’t believed on it.

A statement from Competition Commission for the EU, Joaquin Almunia, says that the behavior of Microsoft is a “serious breach” of its prior commitment. He also hoped that this fine would discourage other companies from going back on their promises to act in a competitively fair manner.

“We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologised for it,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Microsoft will be upset with this fine, it could have been much worse. EU rules will fine 10 percent of a company’s annual revenue and that could reach to $7.4 billion for 2012. 

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