On Tuesday, the European Union Commission fined Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) 561 million euros ($733 million) for not adhering to a previous agreement regarding the choice of internet browser the software giant gives users.
In 2009, Microsoft and the EU Commission had previously come to terms on an agreement that said MSFT would have to give Windows users the options to choose another internet browser rather than the automatically installed Internet Explorer. This deal followed a previous negotiated settlement of €860 million.
However, from May 2011 to July 2012 roughly 15 million installations of Windows 7 failed to adhere to the agreement. Microsoft admitted to the failure, saying it was a mistake. This led to the most recent fine.
European Union regulators said that this is an important step in its enforcement capability, as no other company had previously broken the terms on an agreement. Following these negotiated settlements is important to ensuring that multinationals do not take advantage of the EU and its consumers.
The European Union’s top regulator, Joaquin Almunia, said that Microsoft’s fine was less than it could have been since the company cooperated throughout the investigation.
Despite the lighter settlement, Alumnia remained steadfast in his commitment to make sure that companies do not break promises to the competition authorities. “They must do what they committed to do, or face the consequences,” he said.
Microsoft shares were down 17 cents, or -0.60%, during pre-market trading on Wednesday. The stock is down -11.61% over the past twelve months.
The Bottom Line
Shares of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) have a dividend yield of 3.25% based on last night’s closing price of $28.35 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of 92 cents per share.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.
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