Microsoft in European Antitrust hearing in June

Brussels – Microsoft will face the European Union on June 3-5, for their oral hearing and the chance to defend the act of bundling Internet Explorer (IE) with its Windows Operating System.

In accusations dating back to December 2007, following a complaint filed by Opera Software, which stated that Microsoft was “harming the web”, the European Commission concluded that by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows Microsoft has been able to protect the browser from competition, stifling the innovation and free thought of consumers, and reducing their choice.

Since that time, other browser rivals have joined in the case as third-party participants. Among those who have joined are Google and Mozilla. Additionally, a trade group that represents companies such as Adobe, Oracle and IBM has also joined the case.

Microsoft has stated that the company might be forced to distribute multiple browsers with its Windows operating system. However, the company questioned the legality of a request such as this in its official response. The company also claims that a requirement to include multiple browsers with the OS could potentially infringe Microsoft brand rights, leaving a potential intellectual property liability.

The hearing would give Microsoft the chance to answer the charges of the EU directly. During the hearing, companies with third-party status will have an opportunity to participate as well.

With the issuing of Windows 7, users will be able to prevent IE8 from running. Some companies feel that isn’t enough.