EC eases back on Microsoft monitoring

Under the EC microscope no more
Under the EC microscope no more

The European Commission has confirmed that it will be scaling back its monitoring of Microsoft, following its 2004 anti-competition ruling.

Citing "changes in Microsoft's behaviour" the EC will no longer have a full-time monitoring trustee to assess compliance with the 2004 ruling, which came about when the company was accused of anti-competitive behaviour.

"[T]he nature of the technical assistance that the Commission requires is now of a more ad hoc character," explains the Commission's release.

"The Commission therefore considers that the ongoing monitoring that is still necessary can be performed more appropriately with the help of technical consultants who are available under a framework service contract to advise on issues that arise from time to time."

No Trustee the Microsoftee

It continues: "In line with this, the Commission has today adopted a Decision which removes the Trustee provision from the 2004 Decision and repeals the 2005 Trustee Decision which provided for the modalities of the monitoring mechanism and the appointment of a monitoring trustee."

The EC has been digging deeply into the way Microsoft operates since the 2004 Microsoft Ruling that found the company had infringed European rules by bundling Windows Media Player as the default within Windows.

The EC may be relaxing its stance in this area, but it is still to make a judgment on the high-profile case over bundling Internet Explorer with Windows which has seen Microsoft win support from Google against complainant Opera who are backed by Mozilla.


Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.