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EU Rejects Collusion Charges

The European Union's antitrust division on Friday rejected Microsoft Corp.'s allegations that the Competition Commission colluded with rivals.

To back up its position, the commission took a page from Microsoft's playbook, and released several documents outlining the job of its trustee, Neil Barrett, who is in charge of overseeing the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's compliance with a 2004 antitrust ruling.

Earlier this month, Microsoft had called into question Barrett's impartiality and said that he had been in contact with the company's rivals.

Not so, the EU argued.

"The Trustee's contacts with [rival companies] are part of his obligation...and not in any way a form of inappropriate collusion as has been suggested," the commission said in a statement.

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