The US Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has defended its decision to lodge a new antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Microsoft.
The non-profit trade group, which counts Microsoft rivals Sun Microsystems, Oracle and AOL Time Warner among its members, revealed that it has filed a 260-page complaint with the Commission alleging that Windows XP "violates" European competition law.
The complaint has been filed at a sensitive time for Microsoft, which is talking to the Commission as it works hard to reach a conclusion on a separate antitrust investigation.
The Commission is examining the software giant's inclusion of its media player technology with Windows. A decision is expected by the summer.
Ed Black, president of the CCIA, told vnunet.com that he believes it is appropriate to bring a new case when Microsoft's violations are still obvious and blatant.
"We are confident that we have prepared a very strong legal document," he said, adding that the CCIA has been working on the complaint for over a year.
He denied that it has been filed in an attempt to delay, or be considered as part of, the current investigation, explaining that it is a separate case and involves a different product and different practices.
Microsoft dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the CCIA is attempting to rekindle its failed US case.
While the complaint does have some similarities to the US case, Black said that it is fundamentally different because it is about a product that did not exist when the US case was launched.
"We decided to file the complaint in the European Union because it is a larger market than the US, and therefore the most important," said Black.
"We think that the US Justice Department does not have the same level of expertise on this area as the European Union, and frankly we were not broadly happy about the current Justice Department settlement."
The European Commission's antitrust body confirmed that it had received the complaint and said that would look into it.
With the current investigation reaching an end, it is unlikely that the Commission will give the new complaint its full attention in the short term.
In the long term, however, Microsoft could face another yet lengthy battle over its practices in Europe.
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