Microsoft Could Face $7 Billion In Fines Over Browser Choice Issue
In what could be another costly penalty for Microsoft, the EU has once again claimed that the company has failed to comply with a 2009 commitment. This commitment was to give Windows PC users a choice of what web browser they would use when Windows was first configured. Going back to March 2010 the choice screen was implemented and should have popped up when Windows was setup, displaying 11 browser choices for European users. The browsers, users could choose from included but were not limited to Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, K-Meleon, Green Browser and more.
This new anti-trust probe apparently centers around the fact that as of Windows 7 Service Pack 1, this browser choice popup is no longer shown. While Microsoft has apologized for the problem, calling it a "technical error". The company has said it plans to have the issue fixed by the end of the week. Regardless of if it is fixed or not the possibility still exists that the EU could fine Microsoft 10% of its annual revenue which totaled $70 Billion last year alone. This fine of $7 Billion when paired with previous fines of €497 million in 2004, €280.5 million in 2006 and a staggering €860 million in 2008 are certainly adding up. Should this anti-trust suit move forward the total fines paid by Microsoft to the EU could reach $9 Billion since 2004.
Microsoft initially complied with the agreement, but stopped showing the choice screen when a Windows 7 update called "Service Pack 1" rolled out in February 2011. The company's compliance reports to the European Commission stated that Microsoft was honoring its commitment, but the software giant recently admitted that it had not been displaying the choice screen.
Posted by | Wed, Jul 18, 2012 - 10:10 AM