SAIC Requires Microsoft not to Obstruct Anti-monopoly Investigation
On August 4th, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China (SAIC) interrogated Mary Snapp, Global Vice President of Microsoft and coworkers for anti-monopoly investigation. On Augest 7th, SAIC pubulished an announcement on its website, saying that it has organized administrative personnel of Beijing, Liaoning, Fujian and Hubei province to conduct a sudden anti-monopoly investigation against the remaining branches of Microsoft and Microsoft's finacial outsourcing manager Accenture (Dalian) co., LTD. The investigation is still in progress as of now. SAIC informed that Microsoft should strictly obey Chinese law and should not obstruct the investigation to ensure the objectivity and fairness. Microsoft promised to cooperate the investigation of SAIC.
On July 28th, SAIC organized nearly 100 administrative personnels of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Sichuan, Fujian, Hubei, Jiangsu, Chongqing and Hebei province to have a sudden anti-monopoly investigation against 4 branches of Microsoft in Mainland China, which were Microsoft (China) co., LTD. and filiales in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. SAIC said that the reason was certain companies accused Microsoft had monopolistic behavior. They claimed that Microsoft suspected to violate China's Anti-monopoly Law for not fully disclosing the information of Windows operating system and Office software causing compatibility, tying and verification problems.
There are some experts analyzed that, the reason for Microsoft investigated is some companies reported Microsoft suspected to violate China's Anti-monopoly Law for not fully disclosing the related information, causing compatibility, tying and verification problems. Not fully disclosing the information of Windows operating system and Office software made related companied faced compatibility issues in software development, which is "refusing to trade". And Internet Explorer web browser sold bundling with Windows operating system is "tie-in sale".
According to the China's Anti- monopoly Law, it is not illegal for an enterprise got market dominant position by legal method. However, it is illegal if it is deemed as "abuse" and disrupts the market competitive regulation. Article 17 of the Anti-monopoly Law lists the actions of "abuse of market dominant position", including "Refusing to trade with a trading party without any justifiable cause" and "Implementing tie-in sales or imposing other unreasonable trading conditions at the time of trading without any justifiable cause". Besides, Article 47 rules that where an undertaking, in violation of the provisions of this Law, abuses its dominant market position, the authority for enforcement of the Anti-monopoly Law shall instruct it to discontinue such violation, confiscate its unlawful gains and, in addition, impose on it a fine of not less than 1% but not more than 10% of its sales achieved in the previous year.
(China IP News)