Microsoft set for Long Battle With Japanese Regulators

Microsoft's Japanese unit is preparing for a potentially long battle with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) in a case that will likely see three of Japan's top electronics companies testify against the software giant, the company's top lawyer in Japan said Wednesday.

The dispute, which is bogged down right now, could heat up in early 2006 when Sony (Profile, Products, Articles), Mitsubishi Electric, and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will probably be called by the JFTC, Japan's competition regulator, to try to prove that Microsoft Co. Ltd. broke Japan's Antimonopoly Act, said Takashi Hirano, Microsoft's senior attorney.

The company's legal battle with the JFTC began last October when it filed charges alleging that certain clauses in Microsoft's Windows licensing agreements with Japanese PC vendors were illegal. Clauses that restricted the ability of vendors to sue Microsoft if they believed Microsoft had infringed on their technology patents were problematic, according to the JFTC.

News source: InfoWorld

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