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[April 12, 2014]
Microsoft slapped with $731 million fine over browser error
(Daily Pakistan Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SEATTLE- Microsoft Corps board faces a lawsuit over the way it handled an error with its Internet Explorer browser that ended up costing the company a record-breaking $731 million fine by European antitrust regulators.
The lawsuit, brought by shareholder Kim Barovic in federal court in Seattle on Friday, charges that directors and executives, including founder Bill Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, failed to manage the company properly and that the boards investigation was insufficient into how the miscue occurred.
The legal action is the first to emerge from a humiliating episode for Microsoft, which the software company has never fully explained and has accounted foronly as a technical error." In March last year, the European Union levied its largest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for breaking a legally binding commitment made in 2009 to ensure that consumers in Europe had a choice of how they access the internet, rather than defaulting to Microsofts Internet Explorer browser.
Its investigation found that updated software issued between May 2011 and July 2012 meant that 15 million users were not given a choice. It was the first time the European Commission, the EUs antitrust authority, handed down a fine to a company for failing to meet its obligations.
In her lawsuit, Barovic says she asked Microsofts board to fully investigate how that mistake occurred and to take action against any directors or executives that had not performed their duties. She says Microsoft replied that it found no evidence of a breach of fiduciary duty by any current or former executives or directors.
The problem on European computers prevented the so-called ballot" screen from appearing. Sources close to the company have said it was connected to updated Windows 7 software.
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