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Europe Formally Charges Microsoft with Monopoly... Again.

added by Michael on 17 Jan 2009

Microsoft failed their appeal in the last case, and now there's (1.6 Billion Eruos worth of) blood in the water.  These charges were sparked by a complaint from Opera Software, and reaches all the way back to 1996.

From NetworkWorld.COM:

Microsoft was formally charged with monopoly abuse by Europe's top antitrust authority, the European Commission, over the way it bundles the Internet Explorer browser with Windows.

...

The latest statement of objections follows a relatively short investigation, one year long, sparked by a complaint from Opera Software, a Norwegian browser developer.

Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner welcomed the Commission's decision to press charges. "It's clear they are taking this very seriously," he said in a phone interview on Saturday.

However, he still doesn't know if the Commission pursued both aspects of his company's complaint against Microsoft: In addition to complaining about the bundling of IE into Windows, Opera also pointed out that the software giant was undermining open software standards on the Internet.

"Its a problem for companies like ours if Microsoft doesn't support the open standards we all apply, because many Web sites are designed to work with IE, which means our browsers won't always work out of the box," he said.

IE is still the most widely used internet browser, although its market share dipped below 70 percent globally in 2008, according to Web analytics company Net Applications. In December, Opera's share was around 0.71 percent.

From InternetNews.COM:

The EC has sent Microsoft a so-called "Statement of Objections," or SO, indicating that it believes the company has illegally tied its Internet Explorer browser to its Windows operating system since 1996.