18 January 2009

EU - Microsoft is accused again

(BBC)
The European Commission has accused Microsoft of harming competition by bundling its Explorer web browser with its Windows operating system. The commission said it had reached the preliminary view that the US software giant had undermined consumer choice and infringed EU rules. See Antitrust: Commission confirms sending a Statement of Objections to Microsoft on the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows (RAPID). The Commission believes that the tying of Internet Explorer with Windows, which makes Internet Explorer available on 90% of the world's PCs, distorts competition on the merits between competing web browsers insofar as it provides Internet Explorer with an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match. The Commission is concerned that through the tying, Microsoft shields Internet Explorer from head to head competition with other browsers which is detrimental to the pace of product innovation and to the quality of products which consumers ultimately obtain. In addition, the Commission is concerned that the ubiquity of Internet Explorer creates artificial incentives for content providers and software developers to design websites or software primarily for Internet Explorer which ultimately risks undermining competition and innovation in the provision of services to consumers.