Monday, January 19th 2009
It is not the first time that Microsoft has had run-ins with the European Commission. The problem that keeps coming up is what the commission believes to be anti-competitive practices, being that Microsoft is bundling its own software with Windows instead of offering them separately. As has been seen with Windows 7, Microsoft has tried to keep them happy this time, by only including Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. The rest can be downloaded free of charge, by what Microsoft has named the Windows Live Suite. It seems that this is not enough however, despite Internet Explorer being included in Microsoft's operating systems for over ten years, they have decided that this is an anti-competitive move by Microsoft, and as such have issued a Statement of Objections. The commission has given Microsoft approximately two months to respond, the official statement from Microsoft follows:
Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer. The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.Sources: Hexus.net , Microsoft
“We are committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law. We are studying the Statement of Objections now. Under European competition law procedure, Microsoft will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to this Statement of Objections within about two months. The company is also afforded an opportunity to request a hearing, which would take place after the submission of this response. Under EU procedure, the European Commission will not make a final determination until after it receives and assesses Microsoft’s response and conducts the hearing, should Microsoft request one.