European Commission investigates Microsoft

The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, is investigating Microsoft Corp. on a variety of issues including the Internet, services discounting, licensing activities and complaints made against Microsoft. Complaints against Microsoft involve the global market, sources say and the investigations are moving forward pursuant to Article 85 (concerning noncompetitive agreements between companies) and Article 86 (concerning abuse of a dominant market position) of the Maastricht treaty. Although no one has complained about Microsoft's purchase of shares in Apple Computer, the investigation may also cover that deal.

The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, is investigating Microsoft Corp. on a variety of issues including the Internet, services discounting, licensing activities and complaints made against Microsoft, according to sources here.

Complaints against Microsoft involve the global market, sources say and the investigations are moving forward pursuant to Article 85 (concerning noncompetitive agreements between companies) and Article 86 (concerning abuse of a dominant market position) of the Maastricht treaty.

Although no one has complained about Microsoft's purchase of shares in Apple Computer, the investigation may also cover that deal, sources say.

"Although we have received no complaints about Microsoft's investment in Apple, it doesn't mean the Commission has decided to sleep on this issue," says a source who asked not to be identified. "We want to keep in touch with the US on this deal."

Circumstances involved in the services-discounting investigation are said to resemble those in the recent antitrust ruling concerning service agreements made by Digital. That investigation recently resulted in DEC modifying its contracts.

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