Was Microsoft's EU fine too much? One economics professor says, "Yes"

On Wednesday, the European Union's antitrust regulators in the European Commission fined Microsoft 561 million euros, or $732 million, due to Microsoft's violations of a 2009 anti-trust agreement with the EU. Microsoft admitted that a number of Windows 7-based PCs did not display the required web browser download ballot in Europe from 2011 to 2012, as required by the agreement with the EU. Microsoft said it was a software mistake and fixed it once it was discovered.

In their decision on Wednesday, the EU said, "A failure to comply is a very serious infringement that must be sanctioned accordingly." But was the amount of the fine too much for what was apparently an unintentional error on Microsoft's part? Nicholas Economides, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. seems to think so.

Investors.com quotes Economides as saying, "This fine is extraordinary. It's huge, for something that for all intents and purposes looks like a mistake." He added that while Microsoft's technical issues could have been avoided, he said, " ... to charge them more than $700 million on a technical glitch sounds excessive to me."

Microsoft has also been cooperative with the EU on this manner and Economides believes that the EU is distracted with punishing Microsoft when they should go after Google. The EU has its own anti-trust investigation going into Google's search policies and Economides says Google has been "defiant" in terms of their cooperation with the EU's questions.

Source: Investors.com | Image via Microsoft

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