Microsoft (MSFT) enemies including Google (GOOG), Mozilla, and something called the ECIS (a rogue’s galley of companies opposed to Microsoft) are appealing to European authorities to be accepted as “interested parties” and participate in the ridiculous EU antitrust case investigating Microsoft’s bundling of IE with Windows.
But now Microsoft is getting at least one friend, the Association for Competitive Technology, which has been accepted by Brussels as an “interested party” — on Microsoft’s side. The ACT claims to be an industry trade group of 3000 small to mid-size businesses, sponsored by Microsoft (no surprise), but also Oracle (ORCL), eBay (EBAY), Orbitz, and VeriSign (VRSN).
ACT’s statement, via ComputerWorld:
“There is something surreal about the entire concept of this complaint,” ACT said in a statement. “Not only has the same case already been adjudicated in the U.S., but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is no longer even the No. 1 browser in Europe, let alone the dominant one.”
We don’t know what impact, if any, having other “interested parties” on its side means to Microsoft’s case. Maybe not, much. ComputerWorld also hears:
“IE’s market share doesn’t matter. What counts is that it is being given a leg up by being bundled into Windows, because this makes it the default browser on over 90% of all PCs,” said a person close to the EC’s antitrust division who asked not to be named.