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[FYI] Commission examines impact of Windows 2000 on competition



CORDIS RTD-NEWS/ European Communities, 2000.  

Record Control Number: 14338  

Date: 2000-02-17  

Category: General policy  

General Information:  

The European Commission has formally requested information from 
Microsoft about the new technical features of Windows 2000 to see if 
it infringes EU competition law.  

The move follows allegations received by the Commission from end-
users, small enterprises in the IT sector and Microsoft competitors, 
that the Windows 2000 permits only Microsoft's server software 
products to be fully interoperable with its PC operating system. It 
is claimed that customers are obliged de facto to purchase Windows 
2000 for servers to ensure full exploitation of functionalities 
embedded in Windows 2000 for PCs.  

According to allegations, this would put competitors at a serious 
disadvantage, allowing Microsoft to extend its dominance in PC 
operating systems into the closely related markets for server 
operating system software and 'middleware'.  

The Commission's investigation is separate to the ongoing trial in 
the USA against Microsoft, and confronts different issues. In the 
USA, the main thrust of the proceedings concerns allegations that 
Microsoft is protecting its dominance on the market for PC operating 
systems.  

Microsoft has been given four weeks to respond to the Commission's 
questions.  

Data Source Provider: European Commission Press and Information 
Service  

Document Reference: Based on press release IP/00/141  

Subject Index Codes: Information Processing, Information Systems