Microsoft hit with €561m fine for Internet Explorer violation
2013-03-06 09:16 by Daniela
The European Union Commission has fined Microsoft Corp. €561 million for breaking the terms of an earlier agreement to offer users a choice of internet browser.
The fine, equivalent to $732 million, is first time that E.U. regulators have punished a company for neglecting to comply with the terms of an antitrust settlement, and it could signal their determination to enforce deals in other cases, including one involving Google, where such an agreement is under discussion.
"Legally binding commitments reached in antitrust decisions play a very important role in our enforcement policy, because they allow for rapid solutions to competition problems," said Joaquín Almunia, the Union's competition commissioner. "Of course such decisions require strict compliance" and the "failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly."
"We take full responsibility for the technical error that caused this problem and have apologized for it," Microsoft said in a statement. "We provided the commission with a complete and candid assessment of the situation, and we have taken steps to strengthen our software development and other processes to help avoid this mistake – or anything similar – in the future," Microsoft said.
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