European Union regulators have filed preliminary charges against Microsoft, charging it with breaking antitrust laws by including its Internet Explorer (IE) browser with the Windows operating system.

Rival browser maker Opera Software ASA , a Norwegian company, filed the December 2007 complaint that led to the EU's decision.

Analysis: Microsoft charged with monopoly abuse

"Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission," Microsoft said in a statement it issued on Friday. "The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission's preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law."

Microsoft said it is "committed to conducting our business in full compliance with European law," and said it would respond to the charges within a two-month deadline.

Computerworld US