Backed by new evidence, the European Union on Wednesday accused Microsoft Corp. of trying to monopolize markets for server software and audiovisual players and gave the U.S. giant a last chance to defend itself before demanding changes in its Windows operating system.You know what's interesting about the EU's antitrust prosecution of Microsoft: unlike in the US, I have not seen any grassroots support of Microsoft in the EU. No petitions like we had. No protests. Just silence.
The EU's executive Commission, which has been investigating Microsoft for four years, said recently collected information from businesses across Europe and the United States confirmed that abuses were "still ongoing."
Specifically, it charges Microsoft with unfairly leveraging the "overwhelmingly dominant position" Windows has in personal computers into the market for servers, which tie those desktop computers together.
It also alleges that Microsoft's inclusion of Windows Media Player in the Windows operating system hurts competing audiovisual software such as Apple QuickTime and Real Networks.
"In light of this evidence, the Commission's preliminary conclusion is that Microsoft's abuses are still ongoing," it said in a statement.
EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said the charge sheet sent to Microsoft also identifies "appropriate remedies," including additional code Microsoft would have to disclose to competitors in the low-end server market to ensure interoperability.
It also would have to either offer a version of Windows without the Media Player, or agree to carry rival players with Windows.
What's up with that? Where are the European Objectivists?