The Asian Age

Ex­plain mo­nop­oly charges, China asks MS

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Beijing, Sept. 1: Mi­crosoft vice- pres­i­dent David Chen and other staff mem­bers have been ques­tioned by a spe­cial Chi­nese in­ves­ti­ga­tion team on the world’s largest soft­ware company’s al­leged mo­nop­oly ac­tiv­i­ties in China and asked the firm to pro­vide a writ­ten ex­pla­na­tion within 20 days.

The team led by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion for In­dus­try & Com­merce ( SAIC) asked Mi­crosoft to pro­vide gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about the company and de­fend it­self against the mo­nop­oly charges in a writ­ten re­port within 20 days, state- run Xin­hua news agency re­ported.

The dead­line was given after ques­tion­ing Chen over the is­sue.

Mi­crosoft along with a host of multi­na­tional firms were be­ing probed in China in re­cent weeks for al­leged vi­o­la­tion of anti- trust laws.

Re­cent re­ports said Mi­crosoft CEO Satya Nadella would be vis­it­ing China to hold talks with the Chi­nese of­fi­cials about cur­rent round of in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

In June 2013, the SAIC in­ves­ti­gated com­plaints from en­ter­prises that Mi­crosoft used tie- in sales and ver­i­fi­ca­tion codes in its Win­dows op­er­at­ing sys­tem and Mi­crosoft Of­fice soft­ware suite, prac­tices that may have vi­o­lated China’s an­ti­monopoly law.

The SAIC said the company did not fully dis­close in­for­ma­tion about its prod­ucts, as re­quired by law, caus­ing soft­ware incompatib­ility is­sues.

Mi­crosoft said it will fa­cil­i­tate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and “ac­tively an­swer” ques­tions raised in the anti- mo­nop­oly case.

The SAIC said the probes are still un­der way, and it will re­lease re­sults to the pub­lic in a timely man­ner.

In ad­di­tion to its plans to close Win­dows XP, which was widely used in China, Mi­crosoft also an­nounced plans to close its Win­dows Live Mes­sen­ger ( MSN) ser­vice by Oc­to­ber 31.

Skype, the real- time In­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vice pro­vided by Mi­crosoft, has emailed Chi­nese MSN users about the change, sug­gest­ing they move to the VoIP ( Voice-over-In­ter­net Pro­to­col) ser­vice, the Beijing Morn­ing Post re­ported.

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