China seeks information from Microsoft in 'monopoly' probe

GMT 14:31 2016 Tuesday ,05 January

Arab Today, arab today China seeks information from Microsoft in 'monopoly' probe

Online users with certain Microsoft accounts will get a notice
Shanghai - AFP

The Chinese government has asked US technology giant Microsoft to clarify "major issues" regarding a monopoly case, officials said Tuesday, confirming that it was still pursuing a probe which emerged in 2014.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), one of the government bodies that enforces the country's anti-monopoly law, first said in July of that year that it had built a case against Microsoft over its Windows operating system and the Office suite of programs, after it raided the US tech giant’s offices in China.

The SAIC expanded the probe into Microsoft's media player and browser the following month.

China has launched probes against a number of high-profile foreign firms in recent years.

Last February, US mobile chip titan Qualcomm said it would pay nearly a billion dollars to end a long-running antitrust probe in China, in perhaps the biggest fine ever levied by Beijing in such a case.

State media have previously blasted Microsoft for its share of the operating system market in China, saying it forms a "de facto monopoly".

A SAIC statement Tuesday said its taskforce had asked Microsoft to explain issues found in electronic data obtained by the agency from the company, but gave no details.

Microsoft could not be immediately reached for comment.

The SAIC also said it had requested Microsoft to submit additional materials to clarify the situation, without giving specifics.

In August, the Chinese government levied a combined 1.24 billion yuan fine on 12 Japanese auto parts firms for price-fixing.


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