Microsoft Gets EU Deadline Extension

Microsoft recently received a one-week extension from European Union (EU) antitrust regulators, who have given the software giant until April 28 to respond to charges that it has illegally harmed competition by bundling Internet Explorer (IE) with Windows. The European Commission (EC) and Microsoft have both verified that the company had been given another week.

"Microsoft confirms that the new deadline for the company to respond to the Commission's statement of objections is April 28," a statement from Microsoft reads. This is the second extension Microsoft has received in the case; the company was originally due to respond by January 15. The second deadline was April 21.

The EU has been investigating Microsoft's practice of bundling its IE web browser with Windows since Norwegian browser maker Opera complained about the practice. Note that all other OS makers, including Apple and every Linux distribution, also bundle a web browser with their systems. Also, in the landmark US antitrust case against Microsoft, it was found that Microsoft's bundling of IE with Windows wasn't illegal.

In related news, an anti-Microsoft trade group called the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS)—which represents companies such as IBM, Oracle, and Sun—has joined the EC's case against Microsoft. Browser makers Mozilla and Google had previously joined the case, as well, citing its possible influence in their market

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