|http://www.sina.com.cn 2005年10月11日 15:33 赛迪网|
Symantec Complaining To EU About Microsoft -Sources
Thursday October 6, 4:57 PM EDT
BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- Computer security company Symantec Corp. (SYMC) (SYMC) is complaining to European Union antitrust regulators about a home computer protection service Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT) is close to launching, a E.U. Commission official and a lawyer familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Symantec (SYMC) is complaining to the Commission on an informal basis, in a manner that gives the regulator time to consider whether a full-blown antitrust case is merited, said the lawyer, who asked not to be identified. If Symantec (SYMC) lodges a formal, written complaint, the regulator will be obliged to investigate, he added.
At issue is Microsoft's (MSFT) move into the computer security business with a service called Windows OneCare, which will provide home computer users with up- to-date antivirus, antispyware and firewall defenses. The service is currently available in a test version and is slated for a full launch early next year.
A move into home computer protection puts Microsoft (MSFT) in direct competition with antivirus and security software makers like Symantec (SYMC) and McAfee Inc. (MFE) (MFE), which offer a variety of protective and virus-clean-up tools for home computers.
The problem, according to the Commission official, is that Microsoft (MSFT) plans to bundle this program with some versions of Windows Vista, the next incarnation of its ubiquitous Windows operating system due for release next year.
"We will fight Microsoft (MSFT) in the markets, not in the courts as long as there is a level playing field," said Symantec (SYMC) spokeswoman Genevieve Haldeman. "We have not filed a formal complaint with the European Commission."
Two weeks ago, the E.U. Commission's top antitrust regulator Neelie Kroes said her office has received informal complaints about Microsoft (MSFT), but did not provide details. Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd declined to comment on the matter.
A Microsoft (MSFT) spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.
Microsoft (MSFT) on Thursday said it will release a subscription-based security program for business users next year. This service will be called Client Protection. The Commission official and the lawyer did not know whether Symantec (SYMC)had complained about this product.
Bundling has created antitrust problems for Microsoft (MSFT) in the past. In 2004, the Commission fined the software giant a record EUR497 million and ordered it to produce a version of Windows without a bundled media player.
The lawyer noted that Symantec (SYMC) is complaining to the Commission because U.S. antitrust regulators "don't want to take on Microsoft (MSFT), and Europe is the only place for injured companies to turn."
-By Adam Cohen, Dow Jones Newswires; +322 741 1486; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.