February 22, 2006
ECIS Calls for Halt to Anti-Competitive Microsoft Practices
Brussels, 22 February : The European Committee for Interoperable
Systems, a broadbased information and communications technologies
(ICT) industry association founded in 1989, today filed a complaint
with the European Commission against a range of Microsoft business
practices that threaten to deny enterprises and individual consumers
real choice among competing software products.
The ECIS complaint asks Europe’s antitrust authority to put
an end to practices that reinforce Microsoft’s existing monopolies
and extend its market dominance into a range of existing and pre-announced
future product areas, beyond the two that were the focus of the
Commission’s 2004 Decision. Products cited in the ECIS complaint
include Microsoft's dominant 'Office' productivity applications.
"ECIS deeply regrets that strong antitrust
law enforcement appears to be the only way to stop the sustained
anti-competitive behavior of Microsoft," said Simon Awde, Chairman
"Today’s complaint brings to the European
Commission’s attention anti-competitive Microsoft practices
in a growing number of areas. These include bundling and interface
non-disclosure practices similar to those the Commission declared
illegal in its 2004 Decision."
The Commission’s 2004 Decision found that
Microsoft had abused its Windows desktop operating system monopoly
by bundling its own media player into it, and by withholding the
interface information necessary for competing workgroup server operating
systems to fully interoperate with Windows.
"The limits on Microsoft practices established
in European antitrust law, most notably by the Commission’s
2004 Decision, now need to be rapidly and broadly enforced,"
said ECIS Chairman Awde.
"We are at a crossroads. Multi-vendor market
access, full industry-wide interoperability, and genuine price competition
have become the essential conditions for competitiondriven growth,
innovation, and choice in ICT markets. Will one dominant player
be permitted to control those conditions, or will the rules that
guarantee competition on the merits prevail, to the benefit of all?"