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EU levies huge fine on Microsoft over browser

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BRUSSELS - The EU fined Microsoft 561 million euros ($730 million) Wednesday for failing to provide customers with a choice of internet browser, as promised, but Brussels ran into criticism it had failed to do its job properly by allowing the US giant to monitor its own commitments. 

The Microsoft logo pictured on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris. The EU fined Microsoft 561 million euros ($730 million) Wednesday for failing to provide customers with a choice of Internet browser, as promised, but Brussels ran into criticism it had failed to do its job properly by allowing the US giant to monitor its own commitments.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said this was the first time Brussels had sanctioned a company for failing to live up to commitments it had made to satisfy an EU complaint, making it a "very serious infringement."

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