EU fines Microsoft $732 million for browser ballot violation

Today, the European Union has decided to fine the company €561 million (around $732 million) for breaking a 2009 antitrust agreement. Back then, Microsoft agreed to include a browser ballot box in every new copy of Windows, allowing users to pick any one of the 12 most popular browsers rather than defaulting to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Microsoft due to a “technical error” removed this choice in Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

In July 2012, the European Commission formally started investigating, and in October it decided that Microsoft had indeed violated the terms of the agreement.

Microsoft’s statement:

“We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it. We provided the Commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake – or anything similar – in the future.”

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