[FSFE PR][EN] Real Networks-Microsoft: "FSFE is not and never will be for sale"

Joachim Jakobs press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Oct 14 13:51:58 CEST 2005

FSFE urges European Commission to keep defending European economic interests

"We congratulate Microsoft on effective use of their considerable
financial resources: First they manage to pay off Sun, then Novell and
the CCIA. Now they convinced Real Networks to serve their own head on
a silver platter for just US $761 Million," comments Georg
Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) on the
recent agreement between Real Networks and Microsoft. "Given that
people were stunned by the apparently large antitrust fine of 500
Million EUR, it is interesting to see how Microsoft has now spent six
to seven times that amount on the case just to make sure they won't
have to compete in an open market."

"Apple turned down an offer for cooperation from Real Networks in
April 2004; teaming up with Microsoft in response is a classic
tactical mistake. If they successfully push Apple out of the market,
Real Networks will be at the mercy of Microsoft; and if they fail it
leaves them out of business. Either way, RealNetworks loses: How long
will they survive a full Microsoft onslaught once they are the only
two remaining players?" Greve concludes.

"Microsoft is the clear winner in this situation: they convinced Sun,
Novell, CCIA and Real Networks to desert the only protection they
could turn to now and in the future", Carlo Piana, Milano based lawyer
of FSFE says and concludes: "This shows how serious Microsoft takes
this case, how much the Commission investigation means to them. At the
same time they keep making billions of money by not changing the very
same practices that earned them an antitrust case in the first place."

"We have to ask ourselves who is going to pay those billions", asks
Piana and immediately gives the answer: "All of you, the customers,
pay that money in higher fees and more monopolies. That is why we urge
the Commission to keep the case up."

Greve summarises: "FSFE will not stop defending everyones freedom in our 
digital society, in addition we are not for sale. We have discovered we 
may be the only party that will see this case through to the end, 
standing by the side of the Commission. You can help us do that job by 
supporting our work and you can achieve something yourself by replacing 
the proprietary software on your computers today."

About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

 The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), founded 2001, is a
 charitable non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of
 Free Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may
 participate in a digital society. The the Freedoms to use, copy,
 modify and redistribute software - as described in the Free Software
 definition - allow equal participation in the information
 age. Creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software
 politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting
 development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE. Further
 information about FSFE's work can be found at http://fsfeurope.org,
 get active yourself at http://fsfeurope.org/contribute/.

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