Opera Software ASA has filed a complaint with the European Commission describing how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards.
Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer.
"We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera. "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."
Opera requested the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft's abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers preinstalled on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities.
The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards. The company says Microsoft's unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks.
Opera says both requested remedies are intended to give consumers greater freedom and flexibility while at the same time ensuring that the Web further develops into a platform for innovation.