Microsoft Pressured By Chinese Anti-Trust Regulators

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According to a September 2nd article in the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce is requiring Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to explain itself with regard to several compatibility and bundling issues with its software. SAIC is apparently ratcheting up the pressure on the software maker, which is facing an antitrust probe into its business practices in China.

SAIC announced via its website Monday that it was giving Microsoft 20 days to “problems like incompatibility and other issues caused by a lack of released information about its Windows and Office software.”

Monday meeting with Microsoft execs

The regulatory agency issued the deadline in a meeting with Microsoft personnel Monday. David Chen, a Microsoft VP supervising legal and corporate affairs in China, was among those in attendance at the meeting.

More details on the case

the ongoing investigation into Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has included recent surprise inspections by Chinese officials at Microsoft’s offices. The SAIC said it seized email and other relevant materials, and also wanted to interview several Microsoft executives.

The investigation into Microsoft is one of several faced by foreign businesses in China as Beijing steps up enforcement of its antimonopoly law.

The SAIC reviews anti-monopoly issues not involving mergers or pricing, such as production agreements or deals that could give companies too much control in the Chinese market. Very few details regarding the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) probe have been released, but SAIC said it was responding to complaints from other businesses about Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office software.

Several overseas luxury-auto makers are also facing probes by another Chinese regulator regarding the pricing of spare parts and aftermarket services.

Statement from Microsoft

In request for a comment after after SAIC announced the 20-day deadline, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) released a brief statement: “We strictly adhere to the relevant laws and rules in China and we have been actively cooperating with the SAIC’s investigation.”

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