With the sting of the European Commission’s antitrust ruling against Microsoft Corp. still fresh, RealNetworks Inc. head Rob Glaser appeared in London on Wednesday endorsing the Commission’s decision as more solid than the U.S. settlement, and predicting that it would aid his company’s private suit against the software giant.
“Our sense is that the Commission did the right thing for the right reasons,” Glaser told a handful of journalists at an event to launch international versions of the company’s RealPlayer 10 software.
‘The RealNetworks chairman and chief executive officer said that the Commission’s decision was especially important to his company because it is the first time that an antitrust ruling has been made concerning media players, given that the U.S. case against Microsoft centered around browsers and Java.
Real hopes that the decision will add fuel to a private suit it lodged against Microsoft last year, after the U.S. government settled its antitrust battle with the Redmond, Washington, company, in an agreement that some competitors saw as merely a slap on the wrist.
“Our lawyers tell me that (the Commission’s ruling) will strengthen our private suit,” Glaser said.
Real’s U.S. suit accuses Microsoft of using its monopoly powers to control the digital media market by forcing PC makers to include its Windows Media Player, while at the same time placing restrictions on competing players like Real’s.
Many of the concerns brought up by the private suit were addressed in the Commission’s decision late last month, in which it ruled that Microsoft must offer versions of its ubiquitous Windows operating system (OS) without bundling its Windows Media Player, giving original equipment manufacturers a choice over which player to provide. It also laid down rules that Microsoft must disclose details of interfaces used by its products to communicate with Windows and on Wednesday levied a