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China begins anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft, software companies

[JURIST] China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) [official website] Wednesday announced an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft [corporate website] and other international software companies suspected of dominating the Chinese software market, unfairly raising prices and bundling software. Software companies will likely face increased liability for alleged anti-competitive practices beginning August 1, when a new anti-monopoly law [Jones Day backgrounder; JURIST report] takes effect. Officials at Microsoft China [official website, in Chinese] said that they did not know about the investigation [IDG report]. AFP has more.

In February, the European Commission (EC) fined Microsoft 899 million euros [decision, PDF; press release] for failing to comply with a 2004 order [PDF text; JURIST report] requiring the company to share technical information with competitors. In response to the European decision and other judgments, the corporation has instituted an Antitrust Compliance Committee [official website]. In January, the European Commission began an investigation [JURIST report] into new allegations that Microsoft has misused its market position. Last month, Microsoft announced it had filed an appeal [JURIST report] with the European Court of First Instance [official website], seeking to annul the fine.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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