A Google tip-off led to Microsoft’s $732M EU fine, says report

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If Microsoft is looking for someone to blame for its $732 million fine from the European Union, it could start by blaming Google.

According to sources quoted by the Financial Times, it was Google (along with Opera) that tipped off the EU about the lack of browser choice in Windows, putting the whole investigation in motion.

Google’s stake in the whole thing should be pretty clear: As the creator of the Chrome browser, the search giant has a major interest in whittling away at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer empire — hence why it makes so much sense that Google would want to help kickstart a look into Microsoft’s Windows browser defaults.

Google’s move also makes sense given the increasingly bitter relationship between it and Microsoft. Between Microsoft’s bitter anti-Google attack campaign and Google’s move to nix Exchange ActiveSync support for Windows Phone owners who use Gmail, the animosity between the two companies has never been more pronounced. And it’s certain to get worse over time.

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