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February 14, 2006

Microsoft to request EU antitrust dispute hearing

Posted by David Hunter at 9:32 AM ET.

In the latest episode of the ongoing European Union Microsoft antitrust saga, Microsoft has requested a hearing to explain its response to the European Commission:

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it will request a hearing to explain its case to European Union regulators ahead of an EU decision on whether to impose fines of up to euro2 million (US$2.38 million) a day on the software giant for failing to comply with an antitrust ruling.

Microsoft also said it would give a full written response to the European Commission’s complaints by the Wednesday deadline.

Wednesday is merely the due date day for the Microsoft response. The hearing, which is provided for under EC rules, and the final EC decision will come later.

Update: More from Simon Taylor in InfoWorld:

One day ahead of the deadline for explaining why it believes it has complied with the European Commission’s antitrust ruling against it, Microsoft’s top European lawyer said on Tuesday that the company is confident that it has met or exceeded all of the Commission’s demands.

What else could he say? As for the timeline:

That hearing is expected to take four to six weeks to organize. The Commission will then draw up a preliminary assessment as to whether Microsoft is in compliance. That assessment, and any decision to fine Microsoft, will have to be discussed by a committee of European Union member states’ competition experts.

A final decision on the fines is therefore not expected before July.

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal

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One Response to “Microsoft to request EU antitrust dispute hearing”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft gets cranky with European Commission Says:

    [...] Today’s episode of Microsoft’s ongoing fight with the EU antitrust watchdogs at the European Commission packed some heat according to AFP: Threatened with massive fines, Microsoft sent an 11th-hour response to EU demands that the US software giant prove it was not abusing its dominant market position. [...]

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