The big number in tech on Wednesday was $732 million. That was the fine slapped on Microsoft by the European Union.
The company that makes Windows has been in a long antitrust battle in Europe. The EU says Microsoft abused its market dominance by making Internet Explorer the default browser on its Windows operating system.
In a 2009 settlement, the company agreed to give consumers a choice of other browsers, but by its own admission, Microsoft didn’t comply.
“The EU, they see it as a rebuke of their authority and more importantly an abuse of consumer choice,” says Chris Green, an analyst at Davies Murphy.
Today’s fine could be a warning to other tech companies. Google is in its own antitrust talks with the EU over its dominance as a search engine.
“Google should take the settlement very seriously because if they get caught red-handed, the fine will be extremely heavy,” says Nicolas Petit, a law professor at the University of Liege.
Microsoft says it takes full responsibility for the error.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?