Microsoft’s competition problems seem to be repeating in China.
China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has said it is looking at the bundling together of the software giant’s Windows web browser and media player.
That was the issue at the heart of past antitrust complaints against the firm in the West.
The SAIC said earlier this month that Microsoft had been suspected of violating China’s anti-monopoly law since June last year in relation to problems with compatibility, bundling and document authentication for its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software.
The regulator formally announced its investigation into Microsoft’s activities this month after officials raided the company’s offices in several major cities and met Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Mary Snapp for questioning in Beijing.
This is the latest in a series of competition probes against foreign firms in China, including microchip maker Qualcomm and Mercedes-Benz.
Microsoft would not comment on the matter, but the authorities in China said it has expressed willingness to cooperate with ongoing investigations.
Microsoft settled in 2001 with the U.S. Department of Justice a long-running case centring around whether it could bundle its flagship Internet Explorer browser with Windows.
In 2004, the European Union ordered Microsoft to pay a 497 million euro fine and produce a version of Windows without the Windows Media Player bundled. The fine was later increased to nearly 1.4 billion euros.
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