The European Union and Microsoft don’t have the best relationship. I believe part of the reason why Microsoft made the .docx file format is because of pressure from the EU. But the EU doesn’t want to stop there either. They gave Mozilla a seat at the table for the antitrust case against Microsoft for packaging Internet Explorer exclusively with the Windows operating system line.
Mozilla was granted “third-party status” last week. This gives them the option to voice objections and view confidential documentation regarding the case. The European Commission is the executive arm of the EU and are the ones pushing for the case. The case was initiated by Opera, who gave two months for Microsoft to respond to the allegations. Opera is another browser company.
Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of Mozilla wrote that she agreed with the EC’s allegation that packaging IE with Windows harms competition and consumer choice. Here is a portion of Mitchell’s statements from her blog:
The extent of the damage is so great that it makes it difficult to figure out an effective and timely remedy. I believe it?s worth some effort to try. It?s easy to look at Firefox market share and assume the problem is gone or the damage is undone. But that?s not the case. The drag on innovation and choice caused by Microsoft?s actions remains. At Mozilla we work to reduce this drag through direct action, and the results are gratifying. If the EC can identify an effective remedy that also serves to improve competition, innovation and choice, I would find it most welcome.