CCIA Takes Microsoft Case to Europe

CCIA claims Microsoft has violated European Union competitive laws with its Windows XP operating system.

Having been rebuffed in U.S. courts, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has taken its case to Europe.

CCIA filed a complaint with the European Commission claiming that Microsoft has violated European Union competitive laws with its Windows XP operating system. The European Commission enforces EU antitrust laws.

In a 260 page complaint, the CCIA lays out its case that Microsoft is using its dominance in PC operating systems, browsers and office applications to unfairly push into new markets, such as audio and video streaming, e-mail client software, instant messaging software, server operating systems, Web services, consumer Internet portals, authentication services, handheld and smart phone operating systems, and server operating systems.

A U.S. federal judge denied the CCIAs request to intervene in the ongoing antitrust suit against the software giant. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly struck down the organizations attempt to intervene in the case, asking for stronger sanctions against Microsoft in the landmark antitrust case.

However, the association, whose members include such Microsoft rivals as Sun Microsystems Inc., AOL Time Warner Inc., and Oracle Corp., has been successful in gaining intervener status in the European Commissions ongoing case against Microsoft—in addition to this new suit the organization filed confidentially at the end of last month.

Many of the issues raised in the EU case also were issues in U.S. cases against Microsoft, but Microsoft succeeded in arguing that they did not fit into the "relevant market" of PC operating system software and thus did not belong in the case.

"Windows XP violates European competition law," said CCIA President Ed Black in a statement. "This complaint comprehensively details the myriad anticompetitive abuses of Microsoft that remain at the heart of their ongoing business strategy."

Added Black: "Action must be taken if consumers are to benefit from a wide array of exciting products, services and technologies which have the potential to challenge Microsofts hegemony."