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.”

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Superade

    To be honest i think this absolutely takes the piss. I get annoyed with installing a new machine and having to hide the damn update for the browser choice, especially in 8 as you can’t seem to ever get rid of it again from the start screen without messing around.

    Where on earth are the antitrust suits against Apple and Google for their default browsers and Apple again for crummy iTunes?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Mehaffey/1798896724 Thomas Mehaffey

    That’s what happens when you agree to terms with socialist tyrannical governments. Do as they say or else pay the consequences. These companies will never learn. All that does is hurt the brand and result in employee layoffs. When companies deal with governments, it never turns out well for the company. The EU (AKA Emperor Soros dream) is bankrupt and needs all the stolen money they can get. The definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. So wonderful that our dear leader is implementing it here, oh the utopia we are going to have.

  • darkpr0fit

    Doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a tyrannical government or not, you don’t get it. When you agree to something you are obliged to follow through on it. Microsoft has a history of not doing that, in other words for those people who don’t understand “Follow through on your commitments” period. DA!!!!!

  • REWard

    While MS has acknowledged their mistake (and apologized), kudos to them for being big enough to accept their mistake!
    My thing is the amount of these fines (WTF?)! Just like the US government & it’s fines & penalties on citizens (we can’t fine/penalize these governments, eu, etc. When they screw us!!!). Not that amount is nothing to MS, overall. But, any extra cost to a business/manufacturer just hurts us, the end users on cost incresaes to cover these “legal” con-groups just lining their own pockets…

    • http://www.JVE.biz/ Rug Ratz

      I always wonder where these “fines” go to … some EU commissioner’s chateau just got its renovation budget? New type of legal bribe? Some lawyers just paid for their own castles and fees for the next 10 years …

  • http://www.facebook.com/alberto.gorin Alberto Gorin

    back than european version had a problem

    i bought american version.and up load lots of browsers.

    don t know windows 8
    i have windows 7 service pack have firefox cometbird