European Regulators Fine Microsoft Over Internet Browser Choice

Microsoft takes "full responsibility" for a technical error that put it out of compliance with a 2009 agreement.

Evan Niu
Evan Niu, CFA
Mar 6, 2013 at 12:24PM
Technology and Telecom

Software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is being hit with a fine from the European Commission for not offering users a browser choice screen that would allow them to easily choose an alternate browser. Microsoft had previously committed in 2009 to including this screen in its Windows 7 Service Pack 1. The fine totals 561 million euros ($732 million).

Microsoft was previously in compliance with the agreement but last July, regulators noticed that Microsoft had stopped complying. The company acknowledged that there was a "technical error" within the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and promised to correct it promptly, accepting responsibility for the mistake.

In a statement today, Microsoft again acknowledged the technical error that caused the problem and again took full responsibility. The company said it provided regulators with a complete assessment and took steps to improve software development to avoid future mistakes.