Five vendors join against Microsoft in E.U. case

Five large technology companies have banded together to support the European Commission in its attempt to stop Microsoft Corp. using its PC operating systems monopoly to dominate the markets for workgroup server and media player software.

IBM Corp., Nokia Corp., Oracle Corp., RealNetworks Inc. and Red Hat Inc. have applied as a group to intervene against Microsoft as the company appeals the Commission’s antitrust ruling “because they are very concerned about Microsoft’s anticompetitive conduct,” according to their representative, Thomas Vinje, a partner with legal firm Clifford Chance LLP.

“Microsoft has been saying that the Commission stands alone and that it didn’t have industry support. This demonstrates that that is untrue, that there is growing support for the Commission,” Vinje said.

In March 2004, the Commission ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of