FSF: Microsoft's attack on EC is 'outrageous'

The Free Software Foundation has accused Microsoft of behaving as if it considers itself above the law

The Free Software Foundation Europe expressed outrage on Thursday at Microsoft's criticism of the European Commission, and of the UK expert appointed to ensure that Microsoft complies with the antitrust ruling.

On Wednesday, Microsoft filed a response with the EC explaining why it believes it has complied with the antitrust ruling of 2004. In this filing , Microsoft alleged that evidence had been disregarded by the EC and its experts.

Microsoft also claimed that the Commission had denied it "due process in defending itself". The Commission was quick to deny these claims in their entirety.

In its filing, Microsoft said it had obtained "independent expert reports" which state that the software giant has provided complete and accurate interoperability information to the EU.

The FSFE, the European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation, criticised Microsoft's attack on Barrett — pointing out that he was selected from a list of possible trustees provided by Microsoft.

"That Microsoft now questions the competency and integrity of a trustee they themselves helped appoint is outrageous. All the parties involved in the case found the trustee showed an intimate competence and understanding," said Carlo Piana, the lawyer representing FSFE on the case. "How do they now dare maintain that he is biased?"

Although Microsoft claims it has not been given enough time to respond to the EC's concerns, FSFE president Georg Greve believes that the opposite is true — that Microsoft has been allowed to drag its feet.

"We were forced to witness years of delays, stalling and playing for more time during which Microsoft has made no attempt to allow interoperability and competition with its competitors," he said. "Microsoft has behaved as if they consider themselves above the law and any decision by the European Commission. The aggressive stance they now take towards a Commission that was unbelievably patient with Microsoft further confirms that view."