Microsoft seeks EU Digital Market Acts exemption for underdog apps like Edge

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Exclusive The European Commission is looking into Microsoft's petition to region Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Ads from nan Digital Markets Act (DMA), and astatine slightest 1 rival has claimed nan institution is not playing fair.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Register: "We judge our nickname arsenic a gatekeeper nether nan Digital Markets Act and will proceed to activity pinch nan European Commission to meet nan obligations imposed connected Windows and LinkedIn nether nan DMA.

"We invited nan Commission's determination to unfastened a marketplace investigation to see our exertion to exempt Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Ads – which run arsenic challengers successful nan marketplace – from nan DMA."

"Microsoft is fundamentally fighting it," said Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner successful an question and reply pinch The Register.

"They're trying to reason that they shouldn't beryllium designated … Microsoft is claiming, basically, that Edge has truthful small marketplace stock that they don't matter.

"I would declare that, much aliases less, each Windows personification ends up utilizing Edge astatine slightest erstwhile a period whether they want to aliases not. It is benignant of … you get tricked into utilizing it each nan time."

Microsoft would doubtless return rumor pinch that argument. However, it is becoming progressively difficult to debar nan browser. Von Tetzchner cited nan desktop hunt barroom that slithered its measurement into Windows arsenic 1 illustration of users being directed to a level pinch nary straightforward measurement of switching to a different provider.

"It gets analyzable if you person Windows designated arsenic a gatekeeper and Edge not designated arsenic a gatekeeper."

Von Tetzchner commented connected nan methods he reckoned Microsoft was utilizing to show that nan usage of its products was not precocious capable to merit nan designation: "They're trying to usage Statcounter arsenic a root of accusation astir browser usage."

Statcounter is focused connected page views. The EC, connected nan different hand, is much willing successful personification counts alternatively than marketplace share. We should besides beryllium clear that Microsoft has yet to remark connected what its lawyers put successful its filing.

"Now, I deliberation you'll work together that what you usually count connected nan net is users, monthly users," von Tetzchner said.

"So Microsoft is trying to get distant from that and conscionable utilizing a very debased number and successful doing truthful trying to fundamentally make nan statement since their usage is truthful debased that nan rules shouldn't use to Edge aliases Bing."

Warming to his theme, Von Tetzchner noted different ways that users were nudged Edgewards astatine nan disbursal of alternatives – specified arsenic his company's Vivaldi browser.

"If you look astatine what Microsoft has been doing recently, pinch fundamentally pushing ads extensively, taking complete nan default browser, making it really difficult to group default, perchance making it harder to instal and beryllium visible connected nan level … there's conscionable a batch of things that they're doing."

We should beryllium clear that it is imaginable to alteration nan default browser wrong Windows, though nan process is possibly not nan easiest to follow, peculiarly considering nan plaintive cries from Edge astatine astir each measurement of nan way.

Von Tetzchner contrasted Microsoft's attack pinch that of Google. "My belief is that Google wants to benignant of travel nan rules, connected different hand, trying to find their champion measurement to make them little effective," he said.

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Unsurprisingly, Von Tetzchner besides had harsh words astir Apple, whose restrictions person meant that nan iOS type of Vivaldi has had to beryllium based connected WebKit. He foresaw a early wherever companies could usage replacement app stores aliases download directly. "So I deliberation nan Digital Markets Act has nan imaginable to make a beautiful monolithic quality crossed nan board."

In nan meantime, nan imaginable of browser prime has erstwhile again reared its head, and not conscionable connected Windows. "I deliberation you want nan prime surface to beryllium served up arsenic early arsenic possible," said Von Tetzchner, "so not coming up sometimes later, erstwhile you're trying to commencement nan browser ... and past a prime surface would get successful your way.

"And past it's a mobility of: Are nan choices visible? Do you spot each nan choices? Are location capable descriptions truthful you tin really make a prime based connected not conscionable immoderate logos and nan like." ®