Fines to Fit the Crimes

In March, Microsoft was fined 561 million euros (about $725 million) by the European Commission after, apparently, a programmer left out just one line of code in Microsoft’s Service Pack 1 of European versions of Windows 7. That one line would’ve triggered the system to offer web browsers other than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which Microsoft had agreed to include to settle charges that it was monopolizing the web-browser business. Also in March, Denmark’s government said Microsoft owed it about a billion dollars in unpaid taxes when it took over a Danish company and tried to route its taxes through havens like Bermuda. According to a March Reuters item, Denmark is among the first European countries to challenge such U.S.-standard tax shenanigans and is expecting payment in full.