European Commission to investigate Microsoft again

European Commission announces two new anti-trust investigations into Microsoft

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By  Mark Sutton Published  January 15, 2008

The European Commission has Microsoft back in its sights, with the announcement that it will launch two new anti-trust investigations against the company.

The two investigations both relate to complaints that Microsoft has abused its dominant market position. One investigation will focus on interoperability, following a complaint from the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) that Microsoft refused to disclose interoperability information for a range of products.

The second investigation concerns Internet Explorer, and the tying together of separate applications, and was initiated after a complaint from rival browser company Opera.

In a formal statement the commission said that it would investigate the cases as a matter of priority.

In October, Microsoft lost its appeal against an earlier anti-trust ruling by the Commission, that came with a fine of 497 million euros ($690m at the time).

The Commission statement says that it will investigate a number of different products and technologies in each investigation, including Office Suite, server products, the .NET framework and the new Office Open XML file format for interoperability, and Internet Explorer, desktop search and Windows Live for unlawful tying together of products with the Windows OS.

The ECIS is a non-profit association that aims to promote a favourable environment for interoperable ICT solutions, and counts Adobe Systems, Corel, IBM, Linspire, Nokia, Opera, Oracle, RealNetworks, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems among its members.

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