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Web browser interoperability:
FSFE welcomes EC's decision and offers support

on:

On the 16th of January the European Commission DG Competition reported that it had issued a statement of objections regarding Microsoft's tying of Internet Explorer (IE) to the Windows Operating System product family. This action builds on a complaint originally submitted by Opera, a European company involved in web browser development.

Free Software Foundation Europe welcomes the European Commission's decision and offers its support in the coming anti-trust investigation. As stated previously in a letter to the European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, anti-competitive behaviour is unacceptable, whether it occurs as 'tying' products with dominant market segments, or in circumventing standards and fair access.

"Web browsers are becoming a critical platform for home and business computing," says Shane Coughlan, legal coordinator at FSFE. "The market previously failed to prevent unfair distortion of the desktop environment and we cannot allow such practices to be repeated."

"It is important that no business in Europe is allowed to institute any policy of embracing, extending and extinguishing competition either through manipulation of interoperability information or through abuse of a dominant position by unfair tying and bundling of products," says Georg Greve, FSFE President. "Microsoft is a company that has previously been convicted of market distortion in the Work Group Server market, and we would welcome if the Commission also took up the antitrust complaint initially lodged in early 2006 by the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) regarding market abuse in other areas."

For FSFE's previous statement on this issue please see: http://www.fsfeurope.org/news/2007/news-20071221-01

For FSFE's letter to the European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes please see: http://fsfeurope.org/documents/20071219-opera-antitrust.pdf

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and involved in many global activities. Access to software determines participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE.

You will find further information about the work of the FSFE at http://www.fsfeurope.org/.

Press contact:

greve @ fsfeurope.org

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