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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2009-02-27">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE engages in the EU browser case</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>FSFE engages in the EU browser case</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">Free Software Foundation Europe today announces that it
  9. will support the European Commission's antitrust investigation against
  10. Microsoft and to this effect it has formally requested to be admitted as an
  11. interested third party.</p>
  12. <p>The investigation began on the 16th of January when the European Commission
  13. DG Competition reported that it had issued a statement of objections regarding
  14. Microsoft's abuse of web standards and the tying of Internet Explorer (IE) to
  15. the Windows Operating System product family. It is based on a complaint
  16. submitted by Opera, a European company involved in web browser development,
  17. which FSFE publicly supported in 2007.</p>
  18. <p>FSFE considers anti-competitive behaviour unacceptable, whether it occurs
  19. through "tying" products, or in circumventing standards and fair access. FSFE
  20. will seek to support all processes that ensure competition and enable
  21. innovation.</p>
  22. <p>FSFE promotes freedom of choice and protects Open Standards. This includes
  23. working against abuse of standards through proprietary extensions that
  24. unlawfully segment the Internet. FSFE welcomes the participation of any company
  25. in the browser market, including the optimisation of their products to work
  26. well on target platforms.</p>
  27. <p>But no company should be in a position to dictate what the Internet will
  28. look like by leveraging platform dominance into erosion of standards through
  29. control of server and client.</p>
  30. <p>FSFE President Georg Greve comments: "Antitrust law has to step in when
  31. there is consistent and massive abuse of a dominant position that is damaging
  32. competition in other areas. In this case, Microsoft first used the platform
  33. monopoly to create artificial ubiquity for Internet Explorer, and then modified
  34. the standards on both ends to distort compatibility and competition."</p>
  35. <p>"The design decisions that give IE better integration than alternative
  36. browsers and to change web standards in undocumented ways were not
  37. technologically justified. The consequences that made the intervention of the
  38. European Commission necessary were intended, not accidental," Greve
  39. concludes.</p>
  40. <p>"Microsoft's pleas to be in favour of competition and interoperability must
  41. be followed by real acts of goodwill," states Carlo Piana, counsel for FSFE.
  42. "So far we have seen little of it: recent actions taken against Free Software
  43. are eloquent. We will be restless in demanding that real competition be
  44. restored and that all players are treated equally."</p>
  45. <p>For FSFE's previous statements, please see:</p>
  46. <ul>
  47. <li><a href="http://fsfeurope.org/news/2007/news-20071221-01">FSFE supports new antitrust investigation against Microsoft</a></li>
  48. <li><a href="http://fsfeurope.org/news/2009/news-20090120-02">Web browser interoperability: FSFE welcomes EC's decision and offers support</a></li>
  49. </ul>
  50. <p>For FSFE's letter to the European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes,
  51. please see:</p>
  52. <ul>
  53. <li><a href="http://fsfeurope.org/documents/20071219-opera-antitrust.pdf">Support of Opera Software antitrust complaint</a></li>
  54. </ul>
  55. <h2>Background</h2>
  56. <p>FSFE previously supported the European Commission's DG Competition in its
  57. 2001 investigation against Microsoft's non-disclosure of interoperability data.
  58. This was the first time the Free Software community became involved in such a
  59. case, and helped lead to a final decision in 2004 against Microsoft demanding
  60. that interoperability information be made public.</p>
  61. <p>The ruling was upheld by a 2007 ruling at the European Court of First
  62. Instance, and eventually, Samba and the entire community received access to the
  63. interoperability information upon conditions compatible with the GNU General
  64. Public License, which is now being implemented into better and more
  65. interoperable software that will benefit the entire IT ecosystem.</p>
  66. <h2>About the Free Software Foundation Europe</h2>
  67. <p>The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-governmental
  68. organisation active in many European countries and involved in many global
  69. activities. Access to software determines participation in a digital society.
  70. To secure equal participation in the information age, as well as freedom of
  71. competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is
  72. dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use,
  73. study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  74. securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by
  75. supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE.</p>
  76. <p>You will find further information about the work of the FSFE at <a
  77. href="http://www.fsfeurope.org/">http://www.fsfeurope.org/</a>.</p>
  78. <h2>Contact</h2>
  79. <ul>
  80. <li>Belgium: +32 2 747 03 57</li>
  81. <li>Germany: +49 700 373 38 76 73</li>
  82. <li>Sweden: +46 31 7802160</li>
  83. <li>Switzerland: +41 43 500 03 66</li>
  84. <li>UK: +44 29 200 08 17 7</li>
  85. </ul>
  86. <p><a href="/contact/contact.html">Other ways to get in touch</a> with the
  87. FSFE.</p>
  88. </body>
  89. <tags>
  90. <tag>Policy</tag>
  91. <tag>Antitrust</tag>
  92. <tag>Microsoft</tag>
  93. <tag content="European Commission">EuropeanCommission</tag>
  94. </tags>
  95. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
  96. </html>
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