Posted March 20, 2013 by Andrew Kyros in Business

561 million Euros fine levied on Microsoft by EU , Not so fine

Antitrust disputes pertaining to various technology firms seem to have gained momentum over the past few months. A step to both fore warn and stop such practices has been taken by the European Union that levied a back-crushing fine of around $733 million (561 Million Euros) onto Microsoft for a failed compliance to offer its customers a promised web browser choice, rather than a default setting that would direct them to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Hence breaking a legal bond made by the U.S. Company for 2009.

Microsoft’s failure to comply with the agreement regarding the software offered was reported between May 2011 and July 2012. The investigation as per the EU stated that the users that were kept in darkness regarding the policy were as high as 15 million. Joaquin Almunia emphasized that their enforcement policy rests upon legally binding commitments that somehow touch the major anti-trust decisions and that failed compliance is a severe violation and has to be dealt with accordingly. The former is competition commissioner at EU.

The Microsoft were spared the rod partially as the fine could have touched around $7.9 billion which would be as huge as 10 percent of company’s global turnover. However it is not so light and cannot be considered insignificant. It would surely be noticed by Google likes that seems to be currently has a clash with EU over its fair-policy of ranking search engine results. Google is aiming at offering concessions that would stop the authority to charge forward with the next step in the case involving fines. Various other technology firms are also being targeted and Microsoft case comes as a clear warning with a total of 2.16 Billion Euros has already being paid for various breech cases.

Microsoft had misused its market position in pretext of tying Windows software package to Windows Media Player in the year 2004, submitting fine upon enquiry as a consequence. 2009 brought another one where to overcome the market competition the U.S. Company offered a downloadable browser in place of an explorer. Microsoft has apologized and stated that the failure was due to an array of technical errors and that procedures have been made more stringent. Taking the accountability of the mistake, the bonus for last year offered to Steve Ballmer, chief executive has been cut. Though in view of analysts, this severe mistake is being categorized as non purposeful. The reason is Microsoft’s awareness that the potential fine imposed for such a malfunction could supersede their income provided by the same project. The statistics offered by StatCounter, a web traffic analysis company Mozilla has a 29% share in European browser market, Google chrome contributes 35%. Microsoft’s share has dipped to half since the year 2008 to a mere 24%, it added.

Andrew Kyros

Andrew Kyros joined Market Voice News as a general assignment reporter. Andrew received a national Edward R. Murrow for spot news award and the regional Associated Press award for best newscast. Andrew attended Riverview High School near Coshocton, and graduated from Ashland College in Ashland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Andrew is our senior analyst and investigative reporter at The Market Voice News, Andrew has also reported on corporate corruption and related news.