Urges Microsoft to give consumers a genuine choice of standards-compliant Web browsers
Oslo, Norway and Brussels, Belgium – 13 December 2007
Opera Software ASA, the only company that can put the Web on any device, filed acomplaint with the European Commission yesterday which is aimed at givingconsumers a genuine choice of Web browsers.
The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position bytying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system andby hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards.Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compelMicrosoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Webstandards in Internet Explorer.
“We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired ofhaving a monopolist make choices for them,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO ofOpera. “In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers,we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation. Wecannot rest until we’ve brought fair and equitable options to consumersworldwide.”
Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft”sabusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoftto unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternativebrowsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the EuropeanCommission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Webstandards accepted by the Web-authoring communities. The complaint callson Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support thesestandards, instead of stifling them with its notorious “Embrace, Extendand Extinguish” strategy. Microsoft’s unilateral control over standards insome markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support,harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even exposeusers to security risks.
“Our complaint is necessary to get Microsoft to amend its practices,” saidJason Hoida, Deputy General Counsel, Opera.”The European Court of FirstInstance confirmed in September that Microsoft has illegally tied WindowsMedia Player to Windows. We are simply asking the Commission to applythese same, clear principles to the Internet Explorer tie, a tie that haseven more profound effects on consumers and innovation. We are confidentthat the Commission understands the significance of the Internet Explorertie and will take the necessary actions to restore competition andconsumer choice in the browser market.”
Opera has long held the position of innovator in the Web browser market,having introduced and pioneered features like tabbed browsing, Speed Dial,integrated search bar, mouse gestures, Opera Linkâ„¢ and many others.Absent Microsoft’s abuse, Microsoft would have been forced to compete on alevel playing field with Opera and other browsers. Instead of innovating,Microsoft has locked consumers to its own browser and only recently begunto offer some of the innovative features that other browsers have offeredfor years.
Both of Opera’s requested remedies are intended to give consumers greaterfreedom and flexibility while at the same time ensuring that the Webfurther develops into a platform for innovation. Opera believes that theremedies will help promote consumer rights worldwide and force Microsoftto begin competing with Opera and others on the merits of its browser.
About Opera Software ASA
Opera Software ASA is a Norwegian company providing innovative productsthat make the Web a reality on any device – from computers and cell phonesto portable media players and game consoles. As the first company thatbrought the full Web to the small mobile screen, Opera has an unparalleledtrack record in giving users the full Web experience across platforms.Opera’s product range includes its flagship desktop browser, a fast andfree Web browser for mobile phones called Opera Mini, and Opera Mobile, aversion of the browser designed for today’s advanced smartphones. AllOpera’s products support open Web standards which make the Web a home forinnovation. Available completely free, Opera’s desktop browser or Opera Mini can be downloaded at www.opera.com.
Opera Software ASA is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and has offices aroundthe world, including in the United States, Japan, Sweden, Poland, China, Korea andIndia. Opera is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Symbol: OPERA)