Japanese watchdog raids MS Tokyo

Anti-trust bust over OEM terms

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Microsoft's Tokyo headquarters was raided yesterday by Japanese anti-trust officials.

The Fair Trade Commission accuses Microsoft of seeking restrictive OEM software contracts with Japanese computer firms, according to reports.

It is unhappy that PC makers must sign away all rights to sue Microsoft over Windows if they are to pre-install Windows software on their machines.

Microsoft insists there is nothing wrong with such licence terms, but it will co-operate with the authorities, the BBC reports. "Some commission officials came to our headquarters this morning and they are holding a meeting with our company officials," a Microsoft spokesman said.

In a statement, Microsoft said it "believes that the patent-related provision is lawful under Japanese, US and EU law.

"Microsoft recently reviewed this provision again after receiving comments on it from some of its OEM customers. Microsoft has decided that, given its focus on improving customer satisfaction, it would delete the provision in its entirety from the next round of OEM contracts, which will take effect later this year. Microsoft last week notified its OEM customers, including its customers in Japan, that the provision would be deleted."


Microsoft has fought long and hard over anti-trust actions in the US and Europe. This is all over bar the shouting in America, but the company still awaits an EC ruling. Possible remedies could include a big fine or, more problematic, an order to Microsoft to sell a cut-down version of Windows in Europe.

The commission's particular fetish is Windows Media Player, which it wants to see decoupled from the rest of Windows. If such a ruling is ever enforced, Real will win chance to pollute many more desktops with its competing media player, invasive marketing and all.

Microsoft can handle a fine, but it will surely appeal any EC order to sell different software for Europe. This one could run and run. ®

Related stories

MS faces EU shackles on Media Player, Windows servers
Microsoft's EU anti-trust hearing begins
EC to find against Microsoft
Microsoft gets green light to punish OS-less PC vendors
Microsoft profiting from antitrust punishment


Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.