Mar. 6 - The European Union has fined Microsoft Corp 561 million euros for failing to offer consumers a choice of web browser. Ciara Sutton reports
561 million euros is today's daily digit - the amount Microsoft has been fined by the European Union. EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the US company had broken its promise to offer consumers a choice of web browser. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMPETITION COMMISSIONER JOAQUIN ALMUNIA, SAYING: "Although Microsoft did make the choice screen available in March 2010, as agreed, the choice screen was not rolled out as required following the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack I in May 2011. As a consequence, during more than one year, exactly during 14 months, until July 2012, around 15 million users, more exactly 15.3 million users, did not see the choice screen as they should have." The EU had already fined Microsoft 1.6 billion euros for not providing data at fair prices to rivals and for tying its media player to its operating system. This time the fine was relatively light - it could have charged Microsoft up to 10 percent of its global turnover. But it is the first time the Commission has fined a company for non-compliance with agreed commitments. And it will serve as a warning to other technology firms - including Google - involved in anti-trust disputes.