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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $28.04
The European Commission has imposed a 561 million euro fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen, which would allow them to easily choose their preferred web browser. Back in 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft until 2014, and in Wednesday’s decision, the Commission found that Microsoft did not introduce the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. Thus, 15 million Windows users in the European Union did not see the choice screen during this period and Microsoft has conceded that the choice screen was not displayed then. Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaqun Almunia commented that “In 2009, we closed our investigation about a suspected abuse of dominant position by Microsoft due to the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows by accepting commitments offered by the company. 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. Of course, such decisions require strict compliance. A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly.”
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