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Microsoft Sees Red as China Probes Monopolistic Behaviour Of Software Maker

China's Intellectual Property Watchdog is reportedly investigating anti-monopoly claims targeting Microsoft and other international software companies.

According to Agence France Press (citing Xinhua Financial News and state-owned Shanghai Securities News), A spokesperson for the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office said that an investigation is being carried out which could potentially give way to onerous lawsuits.

Anti monopoly laws will take effect in China as from the 1st of August 2008 and could stress relationships between the US and China.

Observers (opens in new tab) say that the Chinese authorities could follow the European Union, US and other countries and slow down Microsoft's expansion in the world's biggest computer market.

Sources within China say that the regulators will highlight discrepancies in pricing which tend to penalise Chinese buyers; for example, the combination of Microsoft Office Suite and Windows OS is far more expensive than buying a bare PC.

Korea and the European Commission have together fined the software giant more than USD 800 million in the past years, a fraction of Microsoft's Quarterly profits.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.