Microsoft has been hit with a new suit from the European Union's anti-trust agency, which charges that bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system shields it from competition.
The initial complaint that led to the charge came from Opera Software and accused Microsoft of abusing its dominant position in PC operating systems and preventing competition on the merits for internet browsers in favor of its own Internet Explorer. Opera requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to allow consumers a real choice of browser.
Following its investigation of the complaint, the European Commission confirmed on Saturday that it sent Microsoft a Statement of Objections yesterday, accusing it of illegally tying Internet Explorer to the Windows PC operating system.
“On behalf of all Internet users, we commend the Commission for taking the next step towards restoring competition in a market that Microsoft has strangled for more than a decade," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software. "The Commission’s Statement of Objections demonstrates that the Commission is serious about getting Microsoft to start competing on the merits in the browser market and letting consumers have a real choice of internet browsers."
The Statement of Objections comes almost a year-and-a-half after the judgment of the European Court of First Instance confirming the European Commission's 2004 Decision that Microsoft had illegally tied Windows Media Player to Windows.
“The Court of First Instance’s judgment was clear that Microsoft illegally tied Media Player to Windows," says Jason Hoida, deputy general counsel at Opera Software. "We are not surprised that the Commission has issued a Statement of Objections based on the principles in that judgment."