EU fines Microsoft $733 million for breaking browser pact

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AMSTERDAM — The European Union has fined Microsoft $733 million for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company’s flagship Windows operating system.

In 2009, Microsoft Corp. struck a broad settlement with the EU’s executive arm, the Commission, to resolve disputes over the company’s abuse of the dominance of Windows, and promised to give Windows users the option of choosing another browser rather than having Microsoft’s Internet Explorer automatically installed on their machines.

But Microsoft failed to stick to the deal for some 15 million installations of Windows 7 software in Europe from May 2011 until July 2012. The company admitted the failure last year, adding that it was a mistake.

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