China gives Microsoft twenty days to respond to antitrust inquiry

In the last few weeks, Chinese authorities have conducted two raids on Microsoft offices and facilities across the country, as part of an investigation into alleged antitrust violations by the company. The exact nature of the probe remains somewhat ambiguous, although a recent report indicated that it concerned Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player with its Windows operating systems. 

Today, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) indicated that the investigation was even wider in its scope, encompassing not just Windows, but also Microsoft's Office suite. 

The SAIC said in a statement that a "special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days." 

Authorities have accused Microsoft of not being 'fully transparent' over the disclosure of its sales data in China. Microsoft said today in a statement, published by Reuters, that it was "serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns".

Last week, the Chinese government stated that it plans to launch its own desktop OS next month, as part of a wider effort to reduce its dependency on Windows and other foreign software.

Source: SAIC via Reuters

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