Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Dec 2007 22:10 UTC
Legal Opera, based in Norway, announced Thursday that it had filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by bundling IE with the Windows operating system. Opera also claimed that Microsoft is hindering interoperability by not following accepted open Web standards. Microsoft struck back Friday, indicating that it would not willingly unbundle IE from Windows. "We believe the inclusion of the browser into the operating system benefits consumers, and that consumers and PC manufacturers are already free to choose to use any browsers they wish," a Microsoft representative said. "Internet Explorer has been an integral part of the Windows operating system for over a decade and supports a wide range of Web standards."
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I'm not sure I totally understood what you were saying, but I have opinions too, so I figured I'd share. :-)

Network Carriers shaping network traffic is a problem in the same way GE owning most of the roads, and shaping traffic (mostly though tolls I'd imagine) would be a problem for roads, and the economy that runs on them. It would stifle commerce, not enable it.

In fact, any company in an overly dominant position has the capability to stifle commerce, to bring capitalism to a halt. That's why we need rules, and oversight to make sure those very large companies follow them.

It's odd that there are some free market fundamentalists that can't understand that basic fact. Laissez faire doesn't work for stable and fair economies, and it never has. I wish we could move past all the name calling, and figure out how to provide the best rules, and oversight for the rules for our economy. As long as far right economic theorists are continuing to hold the line on any form of even slight oversight, constantly jumping straight across the vast middle ground to the label "communism", I guess that's not going to happen.

Finally, to be clear, Microsoft being allowed to dominate the Web Platform, and the Operating System platform (etc.) for their own profit at the expense of everyone else, is just as bad as network providers shaping traffic for their own profit, at the expense of everyone else. It's the same problem - the problem of monopolies, a problem for which the "free market" provides no solution.

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