Google joins the EU’s Internet Explorer smackdown

by admin February 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Google has applied to participate as a third party in the European Commission’s effort to regulate the browser market and unbundle Internet Explorer from Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Google likes to tout the advantages of self-regulation and the free market when its dominance in search and advertising is called into question, but the Web giant doesn’t seem to mind letting the government intervene in the browser market. In an announcement posted today at Google’s official public policy blog, Google VP of product management Sundar Pichai says that the company will be participating as a third-party in the European Commission’s (EC) ongoing investigation of Internet Explorer.

Opera filed a complaint with the European Commission in 2007 alleging that Microsoft has undermined competition in the browser market by providing its own Internet Explorer Web browser in the dominant Windows operating system. Opera says that its browser never gained mainstream traction because of Microsoft’s bundling tactics. The EC concurred with Opera in a statement that it issued in January which accused Microsoft of damaging browser innovation. In a follow-up statement that was issued this week, the EC says that Microsoft will face hefty fines and could be forced to provide other browser options in Windows that the user can select when installing Windows or ordering computers.

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