PARIS and REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 30, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. confirms that the European Commission has merged two previously separate pending cases. Todays action merges a statement of objections issued by the Commission last August with a review of Microsoft® Windows® 2000 that it began in early 2000, which focused on similar issues. Microsoft has long believed that the merger of these two cases is a prerequisite to a resolution of the companys issues in Brussels and therefore welcomes this merger as a constructive step in the ongoing dialogue on these issues.
Microsoft also confirmed today in discussions with European Commission staff that the Commission has no plans to seek to block the launch of Windows XP or any other Microsoft product in Europe.
Todays announcement also raises two new issues relating to Microsofts licensing offering to business customers and its integration of Windows Media™ Player in its Windows 2000 products. The company is currently reviewing the Commissions new statement, and believes that the new issues are discrete and limited in scope.
"We are confident that once it has completed its investigation, the European Commission will be assured that we run our business in full compliance with EU law," said Jean Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft EMEA. "We take our responsibilities in Europe very seriously, working hard to ensure that Windows works well with products from other companies. This is a key requirement from our customers, and it is only by responding to their needs that we can remain competitive."
Media player functionality has been included in Windows since 1990 and Microsoft is proud of its latest innovations. Microsofts player and media formats are far more open than its competitors due to broad licensing of these formats.
Microsoft is gratified that, compared to the statement of objections issued last August, the Commission appears to have narrowed the types of technical information that it believes that Microsoft should disclose to competitors. Microsoft is committed to ensuring that its products are interoperable with others on the market, and welcomes the opportunity to continue discussions with the Commission on concrete steps that will promote interoperability solutions that meet the needs of computer users.
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