European Commission fines Microsoft over web browser

  • Microsoft was fined $731 million on Wednesday for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just Internet Explorer, to users within the European Union.

    In March 2010, as part of a settlement following an earlier EU investigation, it launched a Browser Choice Screen pop-up

    However, the U.S. firm dropped the feature in its Windows 7 update in February 2011.

    According to Microsoft, the omission was the result of a "technical error".

    Joaquin Almunia, vice-president of the European Commission, announced the fine, stating: "These 'commitments decisions' are currently the European Commission's favored mechanism to close abuse of dominance proceedings, saving enforcement resource and allowing for a speedy resolution."

    The case dates back to 2007 when Norwegian web-browser maker Opera complained that Microsoft was monopolizing the PC sector by including Internet Explorer with its operating system.

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