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EC rejects MS claim over OEM T&Cs

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The European Commission has dismissed claims by Microsoft that it had approved a no-sue-on-patents clause in OEM Windows contracts with PC makers.

In 2000 the EU looked at contracts between Microsoft and manufacturers. It decided that, because Microsoft changed the offending clauses, there was no need to take further action.

But when Microsoft Japan was raided last month over similar agreements with Japanese OEMs, the software giant said its contract terms had "passed muster under a competition law assessment conducted by the European Commission in 2001".

A spokeswoman for the commission told Reuters that it had simply decided to drop the case when Microsoft changed its behaviour - there was no approval of its business practices.

Microsoft says it told Japanese PC makers that it would drop the clauses, shortly before its Tokyo offices were raided.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is still collecting evidence to investigate the OEM claims. ®

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