Microsoft Responds to EU Browser Complaint

Microsoft on Wednesday revealed that it has responded to a European Union (EU) antitrust complaint alleging that the software giant's bundling of Internet Explorer (IE) with Windows constitutes an unfair competitive advantage. The company is seeking a hearing in which it will further argue its case before the EU reaches a final decision.

A spokesperson for the European Commission (EC) said that the agency had received Microsoft's response. "We will study it carefully," the spokesperson said.

The EC had charged that bundling IE with Windows gave Microsoft "an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match." Microsoft has said repeatedly that it intends to do business in full compliance with EU law but that it feels that recent changes it's made to IE—along the lines of web standards support and, in Windows 7, removability—effectively answer the complaint.

If the EU finds against Microsoft, the company might face another hefty fine and the possibility that it will be required to remove IE from Windows or ship competing browsers with the OS.

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