[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE supports new antitrust investigation against Microsoft

Joachim Jakobs press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Dec 21 16:07:22 CET 2007

FSFE supports new antitrust investigation against Microsoft

"Microsoft should be required openly, fully and faithfully to
implement free and open industry standards," is the message of a
letter by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) to European
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. To help achieve this goal, FSFE
offered its support for a possible antitrust investigation based on
the complaint of Opera Software against Microsoft. The complaint was
based on anti-competitive behaviour in the web browser market.

"Although Opera Software does not produce Free Software, we largely
share their assessment and concerns regarding the present situation in
the Internet browser market", FSFE president Georg Greve writes in the
letter and continues: "Some of the most successful browsers in the
concerned market are Free Software or contain large portions of Free
Software. This includes, Mozilla Firefox and Konqueror, a browser made
by KDE. Those products are highly innovative and widely recognized as
more secure than the dominant application. They faithfully implement
major international Open Standards relevant to browser technology."

So what is the problem in the browser market? FSFE explains:
"Precisely because they abide by industry recognized Open Standards
and cannot implement the undisclosed and non-compliant 'Microsoft
dialects' of these standards, they often appear limited when compared
with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which establishes itself as the
closed, de facto standard due to Internet Explorer’s dominant
position. Moreover, these web browsers cannot be hardwired into the
dominant Windows Operating System as is the case with Internet

"For these reasons," Georg Greve concludes "we strongly support
enforcement actions that counter Microsoft’s strategy of 'embracing,
extending and extinguishing' multilateral Open Standards - a strategy
Microsoft already employed successfully in the Work Group Server
market addressed in the 2004 Decision. Default standards compliance by
Microsoft is of great importance to FSFE, as we are witnessing many
similar attempts by Microsoft in other markets to undermine public and
international standards that enable interoperability".

You can read the entire letter at


About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
   non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
   involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
   participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation
   in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
   Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
   furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
   modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these
   issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving
   people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
   central issues of the FSFE.



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