updated 07:05 pm EDT, Wed June 18, 2008
China probes Microsoft
China's Intellectual Property Office is investigating Microsoft after years of the software giant abusing its dominance of the software market, allegedly without its own knowledge. AFP writes that the Windows developer, among several other firms, is being targeted, due to its monopolistic behaviour; Microsoft Office, for example, sells for up to 7000 yuan (over $1000 US), more expensive than a PC. The Chinese authority is currently investigating the matter.
Microsoft denies anti-competitive practices, saying it "fully supports China's efforts to establish an environment conducive to promoting fair competition," while claiming it is unaware of a pending investigation.
The investigation is the result of an anti-monopoly law being passed last year, preventing mergers or takeovers of Chinese firms from happening if they endanger national security, or lead to monopolistic control over the marketplace. A software piracy report in 2007 by Chinalabs.com indicated that prohibitively high pricing is one of three major factors that influence software piracy.