Revisiting issues settled long ago by European and U.S. regulators, Chinese officials have given Microsoft 20 days to respond to questions about Windows and Office as part of an antitrust probe by China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
The agency said in a statement that it wants Microsoft to explain “problems like incompatibility and other issues caused by a lack of released information about its Windows and Office software,” according to reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. The official Xinhua news agency noted that Microsoft’s use of “tie-in sales and verification codes” may have violated the country’s 6-year-old antitrust law.
Regulators are reported to be investigating Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player with Windows — an issue that authorities in the U.S. and Europe targeted many years ago. The move is puzzling to many in the U.S. given the rise of smartphone and tablet platforms that have overshadowed Microsoft’s role on desktop computers.
Microsoft said in a statement, “We’re serious about complying with China’s laws and committed to addressing SAIC’s questions and concerns.”