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Microsoft gets extension in EU antitrust case

European Commission extends deadline to April 21 for the company to respond to allegations that it violated antitrust laws by bundling its browser and operating system.

European antitrust regulators have granted Microsoft's request to extend the deadline for responding to allegations that the company violated antitrust laws, setting a new deadline of April 21.

The European Commission in mid-January notified the software giant that it objected to Microsoft bundling its Internet Explorer browser in with its operating system.

Microsoft was initially given two months to respond in writing to the allegations, but requested additional time.

A spokesman for the European Commission said it's not usual for companies to request and receive extensions to their response to the Commission's statement of objections.

Since the Commission put Microsoft on notice of its objections, the software giant's arch-rival Google requested to be a "third party" to the proceedings, which will entitle it to review documents Microsoft presents in the case that are not otherwise available to the public. Like Google, Mozilla also requested third-party status in the case. Mozilla is the organization behind the popular Firefox browser.

In addition to a written response to the Commission's statement of objections, the software giant will also be allowed to request an oral hearing on the matter.