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25 February 2009, 14:39

Google asks to join EU case against Microsoft

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Google wants to join Mozilla in the European Commission case against Microsoft regarding its bundling of Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system. Earlier this month Mozilla's Mitchell Baker said that "Microsoft's business practices have fundamentally diminished (in fact, came very close to eliminating) competition, choice and innovation in how people access the Internet." In a post on Google's Public Policy Blog, the Vice President of product management, Sundar Pichai, details why they requested to join the proceedings as an interested third party.

Pichai stated that "Google believes that the browser market is still largely uncompetitive, which holds back innovation for users." The search engine giant sees the combination of Windows and Internet Explorer as an unfair advantage for Microsoft. Google believes that, with the release of their Chrome browser a few months ago, it can contribute to the debate based on what it has learned.

The European Commission is accusing Microsoft, through the bundling of Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system, of impeding competition in the Web browser market. In January it launched a new anti-trust case against the U.S. company. The case is based on a complaint made last December by the Norwegian software developer Opera. Internet Explorer has in the past played a role in other anti-trust cases against Microsoft.

According to reports from The New York Times, becoming an official procedure participant will get Google access to the official and confidential complaint details from the commission and details about any possible sanctions. Microsoft had first publicly rejected the claims made by Opera. However, Microsoft has until mid-March to clarify its position at an Oral Hearing, should it wish to do so.


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