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ECIS: What's Wrong with Microsoft's Browser Self-Remedy - Case to Continue

Jun 13, 2009, 14:01 (0 Talkback[s])

"The browser issue is more than just the browser:

"As for the tying of separate software products, in its Microsoft judgment of 17 September 2007, the Court of First Instance confirmed the principles that must be respected by dominant companies. In a complaint by Opera, a competing browser vendor, Microsoft is alleged to have engaged in illegal tying of its Internet Explorer product to its dominant Windows operating system. The complaint alleges that there is ongoing competitive harm from Microsoft's practices, in particular in view of new proprietary technologies that Microsoft has allegedly introduced in its browser that would reduce compatibility with open internet standards, and therefore hinder competition. In addition, allegations of tying of other separate software products by Microsoft, including desktop search and Windows Live have been brought to the Commission's attention. The Commission's investigation will therefore focus on allegations that a range of products have been unlawfully tied to sales of Microsoft's dominant operating system.

""Microsoft must give users real choice, and this should include not just buyers of new computers, but also existing users," the ECIS statement says. Windows 7 hasn't been released yet and it won't be until later this year. What is the remedy for ongoing abuses or the installed base of 90 percent of personal computers? Further, this is not a world-wide solution, and without a world-wide solution, ECIS states, the anti-competitive network effects will continue to impact European users. Then there is the issue of Microsoft's history of "vitiating measures designed to promote competition". And then, ECIS addresses Silverlight. "Commitments are needed to avoid circumvention of the illegal IE tie by tying other Microsoft products such as Silverlight," ECIS says."

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