Microsoft quits EU hearing

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Microsoft has called off its antitrust hearing before the European Commission (EC), claiming it's being denied the right to a fair hearing.

Microsoft was slated to appear before the EC on 3 June to present its defence against allegations that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows harms competition.

However, in a post on the company blog, Microsoft blamed the EC for its decision to withdraw, claiming that as a number of key decision makers would not be present, there was no point attending.

"The dates the commission selected for our hearing, June 3-5, coincide with the most important worldwide intergovernmental competition law meeting, the International Competition Network (ICN) meeting, which will take place this year in Zurich, Switzerland," said Dave Heiner, deputy counsel for Microsoft.

"As a result, 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."

"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 defence under European law."

Heiner claimed Microsoft tried to renegotiate a different hearing date with the Commission, but was denied. The EU will now make a summary judgement.