Back in the day, antitrust regulators decided that including a browser with an operating system was an unfair competitive measure. But to this day, they’ve only ever enforced this against Microsoft, and the EU is still pushing:
European antitrust regulators have told Microsoft Corp. that the company’s practice of including its Internet browser with its popular Windows operating system violates European competition law, Microsoft said Friday.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant (MSFT) said that it’s been presented with a statement of objections informing it that related remedies put in place by U.S. courts when Microsoft settled an antitrust case in this country in 2002 are not adequate for Europe, though a “final determination” hasn’t been made on the matter.
I’ve never really used Apple’s computers much, but I’m pretty sure you can’t buy an Apple PC without Safari pre-installed. I’ve installed a number of Linux distributions (Red Hat, Debian, ubuntu, and even a 50MB distro called DamnSmallLinux), and every single one of them has been bundled with a browser. Microsoft has argued that a browser is a critical part of an operating system, and thus — even though it sucks — it makes perfect sense for them to distribute IE with Windows.
In fact, it’s so pervasive, that I’ve never seen an OS that comes without a browser pre-installed. Is the EU going to go after each of OS distributors next? I didn’t think so.
Hat Tip: QandO