Chinese regulators confirmed an antitrust probe of Microsoft and other software companies, according to an Agence France-Presse report this morning. Updated, 4:55 p.m. with the full Microsoft statement. Updated, Thursday morning: Officials from the same Chinese agency quoted in the AFP story are now saying there is no antitrust probe. Please see this post for an update.
A spokeswoman with China’s State Intellectual Property Office told the news agency, “Our departments are carrying out the investigation. We will release the findings later.”
The statement confirms an earlier report from Shanghai Securities News, referenced by AFP. The Shanghai Securities News report, citing unnamed sources, described an investigation around operating system software and potential lawsuits by Chinese companies under a new anti-monopoly law that takes effect Aug. 1, a week before the opening of the summer Olympics.
We’re seeking comment from Microsoft.
AFP reported that Microsoft China, based in Beijing, told the news agency it was not aware of any probe. It issued a statement to AFP praising the anti-monopoly law.
Here’s that statement: “We are not aware of a competition law investigation in China. Microsoft fully supports China’s efforts in establishing an environment conducive to promoting fair competition. We believe efforts such as the AML [Anti-Monopoly Law] will better safeguard the interests and benefits of consumers, encourage innovation and enhance economic development.”
A programming note: I’ve had a few days off recently, which accounts for the low volume of posts here. We’re getting back up to speed now.