Feeds

Microsoft bails out of European competition hearing

Cancels due to shortage of watchdogs

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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 As a result Microsoft has withdrawn its request for a hearing.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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.