Feeds

Microsoft bails out of European competition hearing

Cancels due to shortage of watchdogs

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Microsoft has turned down the chance to give oral evidence to the European Competition Commission - because the date clashes with a big beanfeast for regulators in Switzerland.

The software giant was to present evidence at an oral hearing between 3 and 5 June. This was a chance for both sides to air issues around Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, which the Commission believes breaches competition laws.

But the hearing clashes with a meeting in Zurich for 600 anti-trust and fair trade regulators from around the world. The event is expected to be particularly popular because it is the first such meeting to attended by President Obama's newly-chosen officials. The US is widely expected to take a much tougher, more interventionist, regulatory line than it charted under the Bush administration.

The Commission assured Microsoft that senior staff would not be at Zurich, but the software giant has decided to pull out.

In a blog post Microsoft deputy general counsel Dave Heiner said: "it appears that many of the most influential Commission and national competition officials with the greatest interest in our case will be in Zurich and so unable to attend our hearing in Brussels."

The company asked for a change of date, but the Commission was unable to reschedule the meeting. As a result Microsoft has withdrawn its request for a hearing.

The meeting wouldn't have actually resolved anything: there is no judge or jury. But it helps both sides understand the other's arguments and likely legal strategies.

Microsoft faced a similar case brought by US regulators which was settled in 2002.

The Commission issued a Statement of Objections outlining its concerns to Microsoft in January following complaints from rival browser maker Opera.

Windows 7 is expected to come with a button to switch off Internet Explorer. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?