Opera Levies Antitrust Suit Vs. Microsoft
- By Barbara Darrow
Browser maker Opera Software has cried foul, charging Microsoft with
antitrust behavior in a complaint to the European Commission (EC).
The antitrust suit, filed Wednesday, charges that
Microsoft's bundling of the Internet Explorer browser with its dominant
Windows operating system hurts competition.
Oslo, Norway-based Opera wants the EC to force the unbundling of the
browser and/or the inclusion of alternative browsers to be preinstalled on
the Windows desktop, thereby leveling the playing field.
"We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are
tired of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Opera CEO Jon von
Tetzchner in the statement. "In addition to promoting the free choice of
individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and
cross-platform innovation. We cannot rest until we've brought fair and
equitable options to consumers worldwide."
It is also asking the EC to force Microsoft to comply
with basic Web standards as accepted by "web-authoring communities."
Opera alleges that Microsoft gives lip service to supporting common
standards but instead subverts them, and that this practice makes Microsoft
the controller of de facto standards which are "more costly to support,
harder to maintain and technologically inferior and that can even expose
users to security risks."
Internet Explorer retains the lion's share of the worldwide market, with nearly 85
percent share as of July, according to researcher OneStat. Mozilla/Firefox remains
firmly in second place with almost 13 percent, while Apple's Safari comes
in third with less than 2 percent. Opera had less than 1 percent -- 0.61
percent -- at that time. In the United States, Internet Explorer's numbers were lower and Firefox's
More coverage of Opera's suit is here.
Barbara Darrow is RDN’s industry editor.