Microsoft's EU 'Browser Ballot' Troubles: 10 Issues Behind the Fine
NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft’s dispute with European Union regulators over the ‘browser ballot’ requirement that resulted in a new $732 million fine against the company has been simmering for years. Here are the issues behind the fine.Microsoft’s troubles in the European Union have hit a new high. The company was hit on March 6 with a massive fine by competition regulators in the Union. That fine, which will cost Microsoft $732 million, is on top of the billions Microsoft has already paid out to regulators. The trouble this time around has to do with the so-called “browser ballot” that Microsoft was forced to bundle with Windows. Agreed to in 2009, the browser ballot requires that the software company give customers the option to choose a browser from a selection when they bought a new Windows PC or installed a new version of Windows. This was supposed to resolve a long-standing complaint that Windows users had no choice but to run Internet Explorer browser by default. The EU believed that the move would improve competition in the workplace. That is, if Microsoft followed the rules. However, for whatever reason the browser ballot wasn’t working and EU officials have reason to believe that Microsoft was failing to adequately support it. Now, EU regulators have hit Microsoft with a massive new fine.
Read on to learn more about the origins of the troubles Microsoft is having with the European Union: