China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 29, 2014 at 11:33 am •  Published: July 29, 2014
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BEIJING (AP) — China's anti-monopoly agency announced an investigation Tuesday of Microsoft Corp., stepping up regulatory pressure on foreign technology companies.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce said it opened a case in June after complaints Microsoft improperly failed to publish all documentation for its Windows operating system and Office software. It said investigators visited Microsoft's China headquarters in Beijing and branches in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in southwestern China this week.

"The administration believes the previous investigation cannot eliminate that Microsoft engaged in monopolistic behavior," the agency said on its website. "The administration has launched an investigation of Microsoft's monopolistic behavior."

Microsoft, in a prepared statement, said it aims "to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we will address any concerns the government may have."

Foreign technology suppliers face growing pressure from Chinese regulators, who have launched anti-monopoly investigations and announced plans to examine products for security flaws.

China relies heavily on foreign software and communications technology. Communist leaders have expressed frustration about the high cost of foreign know-how and have invested billions of dollars to develop their own phone, encryption, software and other technology industries.

Chinese state media have stepped up criticism of foreign technology companies following disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about their possible cooperation with U.S. government surveillance.

In a separate case, state media said last week regulators have concluded Qualcomm Inc., a San Diego, California-based maker of chip sets for mobile phones, has a monopoly. The reports gave no indication what penalties or demands for changes in its business practices might be demanded.

Regulators said earlier they were investigating whether Qualcomm abused its dominant market position by charging excessive fees for technology. They announced a similar investigation at the same time of InterDigital Inc., in Wilmington, Delaware, but the results have not been announced.

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