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Microsoft Fined £500m by EU

Microsoft has been fined almost £500million for failing to promote other web browsers alongside its own Internet Explorer.

An investigation by the EU to investigate the fair competition between web browsers was spurred by claims from alternative browser provider Opera, who in 2007 reported Microsoft was not playing fair by only offering Internet Explorer as the default browser within all Windows operating systems. As a result of the investigation the EU ordered Microsoft to provide all users with the option of which browser they would like to use as their default. In March 2010 the Browser Choice Screen was introduced.

The agreement between the EU and Microsoft was to offer different browser options until 2014. Less than a year after the Browser Choice Screen was introduced, it was accidently scrapped by a Windows 7 update. Microsoft has claimed this to be due to a technical error and have issued an apology accepting full responsibility. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 was issued in February 2011 and since then Microsoft has reverted back to their old ways of only offering Internet Explorer.

As a result of failure to adhere to the European Union’s rules Microsoft have been fined almost £500million, a mere fraction of the fine they could have received. According to EU regulations Microsoft could have been fined 10% of their global revenue, which based on the 2012 annual report would have totalled a staggering £4.9billion.

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