Joint answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission Written questions :E-011160/12 , E-011084/12
The Commission is aware of the Microsoft Windows 8 security requirements. According to these requirements, in order to conform to the Windows 8 certification program, computer manufacturers (‘OEMs’) have to use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (‘UEFI’) secure boot.
The Commission has at its disposal various legal instruments to ensure that competition is preserved in the markets. The basic provisions are contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) in Article 101 and 102 TFEU.
Whether there is a violation of EU competition rules depends however on a range of factual, legal and economic considerations. The Commission is currently not in possession of evidence suggesting that the Windows 8 security requirements would result in practices in violation of EU competition rules as laid down in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. In particular, on the basis of the information currently available to the Commission it appears that the OEMs can decide to give the end users the option to disable the UEFI secure boot.
The Commission will however continue to monitor the market developments so as to ensure that competition and a level playing field are preserved amongst all market players.