Microsoft Given 20-Day Deadline By China To Answer Anti-Monopoly Probe

Anti-Monopoly Probe

Global news websites report that China's competition regulator has given Microsoft 3 weeks to reply to questions concerning the compatibility issues Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office software suite, following a warning not to obstruct an anti-monopoly investigation issued to Microsoft.

Reports note that an online notice was posted on Monday by State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and that they have spoken with Microsoft's vice president David Chen regarding compatibility issues with Microsoft products. SAIC has subsequently demanded a written explanation to be provided by Microsoft within 3 weeks.

Experts say that the government of China is attempting to enforce its old antitrust law and that it is unfairly targetting Microsoft, which is just one of other 30 overseas companies (one of them also being Qualcomm) affected by this. This was later denied by the China's anti-monopoly regulators.

The investigations specifics are still unclear - however, the notice has been issued one week after SAIC's claims that Microsoft has not been completely transparent in its investigation and accusations of using "tie-in sales and verification codes" as strategies (among other) to beat the competitors.

As a reminder, Chinese Central Government Procurement Center has banned government agencies from purchasing and installing some Windows 8 devices in May, claiming that the action was taken due for software security concerns. In July, a Chinese anti-trust regulator has conducted several raids of company offices in China in order to obtain information related to financial statements and internal emails.

Microsoft did not provide a comment immediately. However, Microsoft's Satya Nadella is expected to visit China later this month but it is still unclear whether he will meet with Chinese regulators.

Image credit: Ben Franske (Wikipedia)

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