Opera Files Antitrust Complaint With the EU

Urges Microsoft to give consumers a genuine choice of standards-compliant

Web browsers

Dec 13, 2007, 00:00 ET from Opera Software ASA

    OSLO, Norway and BRUSSELS, Belgium, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Opera
 Software ASA, the only company that can put the Web on any device, filed a
 complaint with the European Commission yesterday which is aimed at giving
 consumers a genuine choice of Web browsers.
     The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position
 by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system
 and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards.
 Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel
 Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards
 in Internet Explorer.
     "We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired
 of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO
 of Opera. "In addition to promoting the free choice of individual
 consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform
 innovation. We cannot rest until we've brought fair and equitable options
 to consumers worldwide."
     Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft's
 abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to
 unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers
 preinstalled on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to
 require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by
 the Web-authoring communities. The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere
 to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of
 stifling them with its notorious "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish" strategy.
 Microsoft's unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de
 facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and
 technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks.
     "Our complaint is necessary to get Microsoft to amend its practices,"
 said Jason Hoida, Deputy General Counsel, Opera. "The European Court of
 First Instance confirmed in September that Microsoft has illegally tied
 Windows Media Player to Windows. We are simply asking the Commission to
 apply these same, clear principles to the Internet Explorer tie, a tie that
 has even more profound effects on consumers and innovation. We are
 confident that the Commission understands the significance of the Internet
 Explorer tie and will take the necessary actions to restore competition and
 consumer 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 Link(TM) and many
 others. Absent Microsoft's abuse, Microsoft would have been forced to
 compete on a level playing field with Opera and other browsers. Instead of
 innovating, Microsoft has locked consumers to its own browser and only
 recently begun to offer some of the innovative features that other browsers
 have offered for years.
     Both of Opera's requested remedies are intended to give consumers
 greater freedom and flexibility while at the same time ensuring that the
 Web further develops into a platform for innovation. Opera believes that
 the remedies will help promote consumer rights worldwide and force
 Microsoft to begin competing with Opera and others on the merits of its
     About Opera Software ASA
     Opera Software ASA is a Norwegian company providing innovative products
 that make the Web a reality on any device -- from computers and cell phones
 to portable media players and game consoles. As the first company that
 brought the full Web to the small mobile screen, Opera has an unparalleled
 track record in giving users the full Web experience across platforms.
 Opera's product range includes its flagship desktop browser, a fast and
 free Web browser for mobile phones called Opera Mini, and Opera Mobile, a
 version of the browser designed for today's advanced smartphones. All
 Opera's products support open Web standards which make the Web a home for
 innovation. Available completely free, Opera's desktop browser or Opera
 Mini can be downloaded at http://www.opera.com.
     Opera Software ASA is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and has offices
 around the world, including in the United States, Japan, Sweden, Poland,
 Korea, China, and India. Opera is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange
 (Symbol: OPERA).

SOURCE Opera Software ASA