The 'Microsoft' logo is seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris.
The 'Microsoft' logo is seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

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.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.