Opera complains to the EC on Microsoft's Internet Explorer

By EDRi · December 19, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

As a result of a complaint made by the Norwegian web browser developer Opera
Software ASA, the European Commission will examine under the antitrust
regulation Microsoft’s abuse in distributing the browser Internet Explorer
with the Windows operating system.

Opera Software states that Microsoft does not follow accepted web standards
and therefore hinders programme developers in making programs that work with
each other. In spite its many innovations in the field, the Norwegian
company, although successful in making browsers for mobile phones, has
failed to gain a share of the browser market on the Internet which is
dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. “Microsoft’s unilateral control
over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more
costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that
can even expose users to security risks,” argued Opera.

This action follows the sucessfull one taken by EU antitrust authorities
which determined the unbundling of Media Player from Windows operating
system, in October this year.

The complaint issued by Opera is supported by ICT software and hardware
providers such as Oracle, Nokia, Adobe, IBM and by the European Committee
for Interoperable Systems (ECIS). Thomas Vinje, ECIS spokesman and legal
councillor stated in a press release on 13 December 2007: “By tying its
Internet Explorer product to its monopoly Windows operating system and
refusing to faithfully implement industry-accepted open standards, Microsoft
deprives consumers of a real choice in internet browsers”.

Related to this complaint, Microsoft commented: “We will, of course,
cooperate with any inquiries into these issues, but we believe the inclusion
of the browser into the operating system benefits consumers, and that
consumers and PC manufacturers already are free to choose any browsers they

During a press briefing on 12 December 2007, Jonathan Todd, the spokesman
for Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes stated that the Commission would
examine the complaint but that it was too early to make any “intelligent

Opera complains to EU about Microsoft’s IE bundling (13.12.2007)

A new EU competition case looms for Microsoft (14.12.2007)

EDRi-gram: EU court confirms the 497 million euro fine against Microsoft