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Microsoft faces suit over IE-related EU fine

Shareholder alleges mismanagement in Web browser choice scandal

Law and regulation, IT Business, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corp's board has become embroiled in a lawsuit over the alleged inadequacy of its investigation into an Internet Explorer glitch that led to a record-breaking $731m fine by EU regulators, Reuters reported.

The fine, imposed in March 2013, addressed Microsoft Windows' ballot screen, which is supposed to give European users of Microsoft's OS a choice between Web browsers. Between May 2011 and July 2012, this choice was not given to 15m users and Microsoft was held to be in breach of a legal agreement dating back to 2009. At the time, Microsoft sought to belittle the issue by referring to the oversight as a "technical error".

The lawsuit was brought in a Seattle court by shareholder Kim Barovic. It alleges mismanagement on the part of a number of executives regarding the investigation into the glitch. Barovic claims she asked the board to find out if any high-ranking executives had been negligent, but was informed that there was "no basis" for such a belief.

"Ms. Barovic asked the board to investigate her demand and bring a lawsuit against the board and company executives," Microsoft said in a statement on Friday.

"The board thoroughly considered her demand as she requested and found no basis for such a suit."