Competition Killer: European Commission Documents 20 Years of Microsoft Anticompetitive Behavior

Apr 23, 2009

The Groklaw legal forum has provided a document under European Commission sponsorship that demonstrates Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior during the last 20 years.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), part of the European Commission, has compiled a detailed report claiming Microsoft's monopolistic and unlawful conduct. In its introduction the paper explains, "For more than two decades, Microsoft has engaged in a carefully designed and extremely successful campaign to protect and extend its monopolies. Microsoft has repeatedly made market allocation proposals to its competitors and has used a broad range of other anticompetitive and unlawful tactics to eliminate potential rivals, including tying, predatory product design, and intentional deception." Among the paper's topics are Microsoft’s "Campaign of Patent FUD against Linux and Open Source

Software," its manipulation of votes for ISO certification of its OOXML standard, its ongoing campaigns to destroy DR-DOS, discriminate against IBM and boycott Intel, and attempts to eliminate Netscape and WordPerfect.

The lawyers at Groklaw have long warned about Microsoft's attempts to converge with Open Source. They see this confirmed in the ECIS document and quote from it:

"Even when Microsoft claims to be implementing a standard, the reality is that Microsoft's implementations routinely either only partially conform or else somehow extend the standard, so that software developed to work with Microsoft's version of the standard will not work with other vendors' implementations of the same standard."

Pamela Jones, who runs the Groklaw website, is pleased with the confirmation from an official source, especially in light of some recent opposition. She writes:

"We've been overrun recently on Groklaw with trolls, including some rather prominent ones, insisting that there was nothing wrong with [the OOXML certification] process...."

The evidence from the ECIS document did not come as a surprise to her: "There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to Microsoft." The document stems from March 31 2009, comprises 33 interesting pages as PDF and is entitled "Microsoft -- A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm." The version at the Groklaw site also includes Jones's commentary.

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  • ECIS is a lobby group

    Correction: ECIS, abbreviation for "European Committee for Interoperable Systems" is not part of the European Commission, but a non-profit organization engaged in lobby work for interoperability in IT in the European Union.
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