Microsoft calls off EU hearing

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Microsoft calls off EU hearing

An EU hearing over more antitrust allegations against Microsoft has been called off due to a scheduling conflict.

Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner revealed in a blog post on Friday that his company would not be presenting its case to the European Commission because many of those deciding the case would be unable to attend.

The case surrounds a renewed interest from the EU over the company's practice of bundling software.

EU officials felt that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows 7 violated anti-trust laws against the company, while Microsoft argued that renewed competition will give customers choice over which browsers can be used.

Heiner said that the conflict arose when the commission scheduled the hearing for June 3-5.

On those same days, regulatory officials are expected to be attending an international competition conference in Zurich.

Because the meeting will draw most of the EC's top officials, Microsoft argued that there was little reason to hold the hearing.

"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," wrote Heiner.

"While we would like an opportunity to present our arguments in an oral hearing, we do not think it makes sense to proceed if so many of the most important EC officials and national competition authorities cannot attend."

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