Google wants to join EU case against Microsoft

Google wants to join the case to prove antitrust charges against Microsoft, relating to IE's dominance of the web browser market.

Google announced on Tuesday that it will be applying to be a third party in the proceedings. This means the search engine giant will be able to gain access to confidential documents in the case, and give it the ability to voice objections.

In a company blog Sundar Pichai, a Google vice president for product management, explained the company's decision:

"Google believes that the browser market is still largely uncompetitive, which holds back innovation for users. This is because Internet Explorer is tied to Microsoft's dominant computer operating system, giving it an unfair advantage over other browsers. Compare this to the mobile market, where Microsoft cannot tie Internet Explorer to a dominant operating system, and its browser therefore has a much lower usage.

"The value of competition for users (even in the limited form we see today) is clear: tabbed browsing, faster downloads, private browsing features, and more."

This request comes in the wake of the EU's decision to grant third party access to Mozilla, the company behind Firefox. The chair of Mozilla voiced similar concerns to those of Google regarding the hinderance of competition due to Microsoft's IE being tied to the Windows operating system.

Microsoft saw a decline in its share of the browser market in January, as Firefox grew in popularity by more than 3 per cent. IE controlled 67.55 percent of global browser market share in January, a drop of more than 7 percentage points in a year, Net Applications.

Apple's Safari is also a member of the top three with 8.29 percent of the browser market, whilst Google Chrome 1.12 percent of the market.

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