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By | Kelly Fiveash 16th April 2009 10:36

Microsoft gets second extension in IE EU antitrust brouhaha

Deadline to respond pushed back again

EU antitrust regulators have granted Microsoft yet another extension to respond to charges that the software giant abused its dominant market position by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows.

A European Commission spokeswoman confirmed to The Register this morning that Microsoft has been given a one-week extension. The company now has until 28 April to respond.

This is Microsoft’s second extension. The EC, in its preliminary findings announced in January this year, said that the tying of IE to Windows “harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.”

At the time Microsoft was given eight weeks to respond to the charges. The firm was later granted an extension to 21 April, and that deadline has now been pushed back another week.

We asked the Commission why Redmond had been handed yet another extension, however, the spokeswoman declined to comment.

Brussels’ antitrust watchdogs charged Microsoft with infringing EU rules by bundling its browser and operating system together on 15 January.

The preliminary Statement of Objections issued by the EC, which is the executive body of the EU, followed a year-long investigation it launched after complaints from rival browser maker Opera.

Microsoft may be ordered by the EC to offer multiple browsers on new Windows-based PCs. The vendor could also be hit with a sizeable fine. ®

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