Neelie Kroes is still pawing Steve Ballmer around like a mouse. Europe’s competition commissioner confirmed this morning she sent a “statement of objection” to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) on Thursday, arguing that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows breaks EC antitrust law.
The release says tying IE to to the OS “distorts competition on the merits between competing web browsers insofar as it provides Internet Explorer with an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match”.
If this sounds a blast from the past, you’ll forgive the commission for partying like it’s 1999. Europe’s original complaint – against bundling Windows Media Player and for monopolizing the server market – was only won for sure by the bloc under appeal in 2007, eight years after its initial investigation began. It’s that ruling’s premise on which the latest case is being brought.