Five leading technology companies are supporting European Union regulators in their legal battle with Microsoft, a lawyer for the group...
BRUSSELS, Belgium — Five leading technology companies are supporting European Union regulators in their legal battle with Microsoft, a lawyer for the group said yesterday.
International Business Machines, Oracle, Red Hat, RealNetworks and Nokia have applied to intervene against Microsoft in its court appeal of last year’s EU antitrust ruling, lawyer Thomas Vinje said.
Vinje said their stance countered Microsoft claims that the European Commission’s case was without industry support.
“The commission does not stand naked. It has solid support from the information-technology industry,” Vinje said in a telephone interview. “The bottom line is that we think the commission’s position is correct.”
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The intervention by these major tech companies — with the exception of Seattle-based RealNetworks, which has sued Microsoft separately — is noteworthy because they have been reluctant to take such a public stand.
Red Hat is a major distributor of the open-source Linux operating system, which IBM also widely promotes. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is a longtime nemesis of Microsoft, and Nokia faces a growing threat from Microsoft in mobile software.
Microsoft didn’t immediately return calls for comment yesterday.
The company has appealed the March 2004 ruling in which the European Commission fined it $640 million and obliged it to share technology with competitors who make server software so their products can better communicate with Windows-powered computers.
The regulators also ordered Microsoft to produce a Windows version minus its multimedia player to provide a more level playing field for rivals such as RealNetworks.