Mozilla: We're not joining the EC's Microsoft complaint

Though it took several days for it to decide upon the proper language, Mozilla today posted its final explanation about its status with respect to the European Commission's latest Microsoft complaint: an "interested party."

Today's admission from the makers of Firefox incorporates language the organization had been pondering as a response to questions from Betanews and others Tuesday, following uncorroborated blog reports that Mozilla was either suing Microsoft or that it was adding its name to legal action from the EC. Neither is the case, especially since the EC's action is not a lawsuit; and today, Mozilla explained that as carefully as possible.

"We are following it [the EC's action] closely and are obviously interested in the outcome," reads today's FAQ. "Mozilla has received 'interested third party' status in the EC's investigation. As a result, we may see the Statement of Objections confidentially. We may participate in a hearing if the EC concurs. Mozilla's role as an interested third party best enables us to contribute our knowledge of the browser industry to the EC. Mozilla is not a complainant; we have not 'joined the suit,' despite some reports to the contrary."

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As an organization, Mozilla isn't actually taking a stand against or for Microsoft in this action, though in today's FAQ, it does link to the blog post last week from CEO Mitchell Baker, who had some very heated words against the company.

For Mozilla to have been enrolled by the EC as an "interested third party," according to the EC's own explanation, it must have applied to the Hearing Officer for the action, stating in writing not only why it's directly affected by the proceedings but also why it deserves to be heard. That indicates that any applicant has something to say and a stand to make, which doesn't exactly jive with Mozilla's explanation that it's mainly interested in making sure the EC doesn't do anything to further harm competition than it's already been harmed.

"We want any remedy imposed to support an open and participatory Web," Mozilla argues. "By the same token, we seek to avoid any remedy that causes unintended damage."

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