Google adds weight to Microsoft anti-trust battle

Google has offered to help the European Commission as it pursues its anti-trust case against Microsoft.

The EC has concerns that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows is anti-competitive and may affect the browser market as a whole. Last month it set out these concerns in a statement of intent.

It said that Microsoft was potentially 'sheilding' IE from competition by providing it within a bundle of other applications and began investigating whether this was the case.

Mozilla has already offered its support and been accepted as a third party advisor, and now Google, which itself recently launched the Chrome browser has also stepped forward, offering its services at an expert in the area.

"We believe that we can contribute to this debate. We learned a lot from launching our own Google Chrome browser last year and are hoping that Google's perspective will be useful as the European Commission evaluates remedies to improve the user experience and offer consumers real choices," said Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management, in a blog post.

"Of course, creating a remedy that helps solve one problem without creating other unintended consequences isn't easy - but the more voices there are in the conversation the greater the chances of success. We are confident that more competition in this space will mean greater innovation on the web and a better user experience for people everywhere."

Opera Software, the Norwegian browser developer, filed the original complaint with the commission in late 2007.