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FSFE objects to claims of 'predatory pricing' in Free Software

op:

In a recent antitrust submission to the European Commission, a Microsoft-led coalition falsely claimed that the distribution of Free Software free of charge hurts competition. FSFE has written a letter to the European Commission's competition authorities to refute this claim, and make it clear that Free Software is critical for an open, competitive IT market.

In its letter, FSFE urges the Commission to consider the facts properly before accepting these allegations at face value. "Free Software is a boon for humankind. The only thing that it is dangerous to is Microsoft's hopelessly outdated, restrictive business model," says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's president.

The so-called "FairSearch" coalition is essentially asking the European Commission to favour a restrictive business model over a liberal one. This is exactly the opposite of what competition regulators should do in order to achieve a fair and open market.

"Free Software is not about price, it's about liberty, a guarantee of competition and vendor independence. Asking to cripple Free Software in order to allow proprietary vendors to sell their locked-down systems is just absurd" says Carlo Piana, FSFE's General Counsel. "The most substantial threat to competition in the mobile space today are software patents, and we have repeatedly urged antitrust authorities to address this problem," he adds.

FSFE asks the European Commission to dismiss the "FairSearch" coalition's unfounded claims regarding predatory pricing, and not make them part of whatever steps it decides to take in response to the group's filing.