Microsoft Handed $64 Million Fine From French Government  

By Brooks M. Deering, The Chicago Times

December 23, 2022

PARIS – Microsoft, the world’s leading software company, has been ordered to pay $64 million after French authorities found it guilty of breaching local regulations. 

The French government said it had imposed the fine over the Microsoft’s unscrupulous use of ad cookies. Ad cookies are small files of information that a web server generates and sends to a web browser when a user visits a website.  Cookies are often used to personalize user experience and advertising purposes. 

France’s National Commission for Technology and Freedoms said that Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, would not allow users to opt out of cookies easily enough.  French investigators concluded that cookies were deposited on their computer without their consent for advertising purposes.  The Commission also found that there was no button allowing users to refuse the deposit of cookies as easily as accepting cookies. 

French officials have given Microsoft three months to bring its services in line with regulations or face an additional fine.