European Politicians: EU Action Against Microsoft Could Harm Businesses

Four members of the European Parliament -- three from the UK and one from Poland -- have submitted a letter to the European Commission warning that European businesses could be harmed if antitrust action against Microsoft delays the release of Windows Vista. Microsoft considers the commissionis actions a "risk factor" to its business, according to its latest annual report, filed Aug. 25 with the SEC.

The company added that the uncertainties around those risk factors could delay the release of Windows Vista and other products. The European Commission has already expressed concern over certain functionality in Vista, based on complaints by competitors.

"This effectively means that the Commissionis actions are endangering the ability of European business to compete globally," the politicians said in their letter, as quoted by an IDG News article.

However, a spokesman for the Commission told IDG News that it doesnit expect Microsoft to wait for a "green light" from the organization before releasing Vista in Europe. He added: "It is up to Microsoft to accept and implement its responsibilities as a near monopolist to ensure full compliance."

Europe has a 10-year plan, the Lisbon Agenda, that aims to enhance its competitiveness in technology. The legislators who sent the letter to the Commission were concerned that a delay in the release of Vista in Europe could put businesses there at a competitive disadvantage compared to the rest of the world.