Ellison, Papows, Kertzman may testify at Microsoft hearing

IT executives from three top companies may be called to testify this week before the US Senate Judiciary Committee as it launches its second hearing into Microsoft Corp.'s alleged anticompetitive business practices.

Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman and chief executive officer (CEO); Mitchell Kertzman, Sybase chairman and CEO; and Jeff Papows, CEO of Lotus Development all are on the tentative list of witnesses to be called when the hearing opens.

Ellison will testify and will be available for a question-and-answer session after the hearing, Oracle announced.

The committee hearing, dubbed "Competition in the Digital Age: Beyond the Browser Wars," was called by Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, who is chairman of the committee. Hatch, who represents the home state of Novell, one of Microsoft's archrivals, has been openly critical of the software giant's business practices. Hatch has recently expressed fears that Microsoft is attempting to leverage its dominance in the operating system market into other areas, including the Internet.

Microsoft is accused of violating antitrust laws in a US federal lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and 20 US state attorneys general. Depositions are being taken from witnesses in that case, which is scheduled for a September trial.

The Senate Judiciary Committee can be reached at http://www.senate.gov/~judiciary/

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