Microsoft Corporation is currently facing a lawsuit, about its alleged negligence that cost the company Millions.
The maker of Windows Operating System (OS) has always bundled Internet Explorer with the OS. Though many have ridiculed the browser, the company did not divert from its ways and this adamancy and cost the company approximately US$ 731 Million in an anti–trust lawsuit levied against the company in Europe.
Microsoft Corp’s current Board faces a new lawsuit over the way it handled a serious error with its methodology that ended up costing the company a record-breaking $731 million fine by European antitrust regulators. The lawsuit has been levied by shareholder Kim Barovic in federal court in Seattle yesterday. The charges allege sheer negligence from directors and executives, including founder Bill Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, which resulted in the way Browser–choice was implemented. The poor execution of a direct order from European Union, ultimately led to the company coughing up US$ 731 Million as a fine.
The lawsuit is the first to emerge after the humiliating episode for Microsoft, which the company has never fully explained. Microsoft has merely accounted the huge fine as a “technical error.”
In March 2013, the EU levied its largest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for directly violating a legally binding commitment made way back in 2009 to ensure that consumers in Europe had a choice of how they access the internet. The EU insisted that Microsoft shouldn’t force users of its Windows OS to default to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. The company was asked to offer a Browser Choice Screen, which included a choice of browsers. The screen offered different popular browsers, which when clicked, installed the requested browser and made it the default browser on the computer, reported Forbes.
However, the EU’s investigation found that updated software (Windows 7 Service Pack) issued between May 2011 and July 2012 didn’t have the ‘Browser Choice Screen’ and that meant more than 15 million users were not given a choice. It was the first time the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, handed down a fine to a company for failing to meet its obligations, reported Reuters.
Though $731 Million is not a big deal for the company, the financial drain made an impact on the shareholder net worth and hence Kim thought of legally asking the question as to why Microsoft thought of merely shrugging and saying ‘It was just a technical error’ that cost $731 Million.
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