Google has made a formal application to the European Commission (Commission) to join the complaint against Microsoft on the tying of Microsoft's 'Internet Explorer' to its 'Windows' operating system. The background is that in 2007, Opera, a company producing a rival browser system, made a complaint to the Commission. The Commission opened an investigation into the question of whether the sale of the browser with the operating system constitutes an abuse of Microsoft's dominant position in provision of PC operating systems. In January 2009, the Commission sent a formal statement of objections (SO) to Microsoft setting out its preliminary conclusions that this did amount to a breach of Article 82 EC and giving Microsoft an opportunity to prepare a written (and if requested, oral) defence. Google's participation is likely to further deepen this investigation and it may be some time before the Commission takes a final view.