China Hits Microsoft with Antitrust Investigation

Officials from Chinais State Intellectual Property Office are putting Microsoft under the microscope for possible antitrust violations. The allegations in the agencyis investigation should sound familiar: discriminatory pricing, and bundling other apps with Windows, according to Forbes.

Microsoft is no stranger to antitrust investigations. The company has experienced government probes in the United States and Europe for years, although this is the first major investigation to focus on the Redmond-based company in China.

The country plans to use its new anti-monopoly law to go after Microsoft. The law is intended to help foster growth in local companies and prevent market-dominating companies from killing competition.

Chinais plan to take on Microsoft could be a move to help promote the adoption of Linux as an alternative to Windows in the country. If so, Big Redmondis recent price drop in China to about US$72 for Windows Vista Home Basic could make it easier retain customers.

There is no word on when China plans on wrapping up its investigation.