According to the New York Times, the European Commission has flexed its antitrust muscles and fined Microsoft $732 million dollars for failing to live up to a settlement it had previously signed with regulators. The fine was based upon a 2009 agreement that required Microsoft to provide European Windows users a choice of web browsers.
Microsoft has previously admitted that it may have violated its agreement with regulators and apologized for non-compliance. Microsoft's fine is not the largest that has been levied against a U.S. based technology company. In 2009, Intel was fined $1.4 billion dollars for allegedly abusing its dominance in the chip market.
European regulators are currently investigating Google regarding its alleged dominant position in the search engine market. While the FTC has ended its antitrust investigation of Google in January, European regulators have not.
The bottom line is that it appears that European regulators have American technology companies in their cross hairs. Therefore, U.S. based companies that create some of the world's most innovative products for use in the digital space should ensure that they adhere to all regulations and laws in the countries they operate in.
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