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Microsoft Cancels EU Antitrust Hearing

Microsoft’s antitrust troubles kicked off when companies behind competing browsers accused Microsoft of using the fact that the majority of computers ship with Windows to create a nice little browser monopoly for itself with Internet Explorer. The European Union issued a preliminary Statement of Objections in January, claiming the company’s practices "undermine product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice." Microsoft responded to the statement of objections in late April, however details of the company’s response are not known.

A week after Microsoft responded to the EU, European Commission spokesperson Jonathan Todd said that a hearing would commence on June 3 and run through to June 5. "It will be an opportunity for Microsoft to state orally the arguments they outlined in their response to the statement of objections," he said.

CNN Money today reports, citing Todd, that Microsoft recently asked the commission to postpone the aforementioned hearing, but the commission didn't see any reason for that. Todd went on to say that Microsoft has now withdrawn its request for a hearing. Microsoft said in a blog post that the reason for asking for a postponement was because key decision makers would not be present and instead attending an annual antitrust conference in Zurich.

“The dates the Commission selected for our hearing, June 3-5, coincide with the most important worldwide intergovernmental competition law meeting,” wrote Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft.

“We pointed out that there’s no legal or other reason that the hearing needs to be held the first week of June. We believe that holding the hearing at a time when key officials are out of the country would deny Microsoft our effective right to be heard and hence deny our 'rights of defense' under European law,” he continued. “Unfortunately, the Commission has informed us that June 3-5 are the only dates that a suitable room is available in Brussels for a hearing. Thus, the Commission has declined to reschedule the hearing despite our offer to find and outfit a suitable room ourselves at another time.”

Microsoft’s blog went on to say that because the EC cannot offer a suitable date, enabling the attendance of key officials the company saw no other solution than to withdraw its request for a hearing.

  • tenor77
    “Unfortunately, the Commission has informed us that June 3-5 are the only dates that a suitable room is available in Brussels for a hearing

    Translation- We got a kick ass deal on Trip Advisor and we can't get a refund.
    Reply
  • falchard
    There is always a solution. Pull windows out of the European Market and give unto them Apple and Linux.
    Reply
  • war2k9
    falchardThere is always a solution. Pull windows out of the European Market and give unto them Apple and Linux.

    Microsoft wants the world and see how far can they go.
    Reply
  • SAL-e
    falchardThere is always a solution. Pull windows out of the European Market and give unto them Apple and Linux.Wow ... That is great idea!
    For sure it will hurt many EU countries in short run, but in the long run Microsoft will be out of business.
    I don't think MS are stupid to play like spoiled child.
    Reply
  • Parrdacc
    “Unfortunately, the Commission has informed us that June 3-5 are the only dates that a suitable room is available in Brussels for a hearing."

    If that's true. Now I to be fair I have never been to Brussels, but are you basically saying that in that entire city they cannot find another suitable room for a hearing? Wow! I do not know what's worse MS or the obviously pathetic see-through excuse the EU gave.
    Reply
  • trkorecky
    Or the EU could stop crying about everything and grow the hell up.

    It's not like Apple computers don't ship with Safari, most Linux distros with at least Firefox if not Konqueror or others, and Microsoft doesn't force anyone to use Internet Explorer. Last I checked (April 2009 data, available http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp) Internet Explorer has a combined 42.1% usage while Firefox has 47.1%. Can someone check my math, or is 42.1% actually larger than 47.1%?

    EU, shut the hell up. You're just showing ignorance.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Apple and linx barely make up 10% of the market whos fault is that i blame apple they been in business longer but they always sold their os as a packaged deal with their machines obv THAT DOESN'T WORK WELL.
    Reply
  • grieve
    trkoreckyCan someone check my math, or is 42.1% actually larger than 47.1%?EU, shut the hell up. You're just showing ignorance.
    That is a stat i did not know... NICE!

    I agree trkorecky the EU needs to find someone else to pick on.
    Reply
  • Ok, let's see what happen if IE doesn't ship with microsoft's os anymore..
    1- install windows..
    2- do updates...
    3- install previously bought software...
    4- download a browser.. huh.. how? no browser access.. DAMN IT
    Reply
  • SirCrono
    grieveThat is a stat i did not know... NICE!I agree trkorecky the EU needs to find someone else to pick on.Don't worry, they are unto intel now.
    Reply