Microsoft waived hearing in EU browser ballot antitrust case

Gave written reply to charges filed last October, but passed on oral hearing

Microsoft waived its right to a hearing before European antitrust regulators to further answer charges that it failed to offer customers a browser choice screen, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company faces fines in the billions for the blunder.

In a Jan. 24 filing with the SEC, Microsoft noted the ongoing investigation by the European Commission, the EU's antitrust arm, and gave a short status update of the case.

"We have provided our written response and waived our right to a hearing," Microsoft said in the Form 10-Q.

Last October, the Commission filed formal charges against Microsoft, saying it had failed to abide by a 2009 agreement requiring Windows to offer consumers a choice of browsers other than Internet Explorer (IE). At that time, the Commission gave Microsoft four weeks to reply to the charges, called a "statement of objections."

Microsoft also had the right to request an oral hearing to respond to the allegations. It was that hearing it waived.

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