China begins anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft, software companies

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.