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EC slaps Becta complaint on the Microsoft evidence pile

Forms 'indirect' part of anti-trust probe

The European Commission (EC) will not treat Becta’s interoperability grumbles about Microsoft as a formal complaint.

However, the Commission has confirmed it will “indirectly” look at evidence submitted by the agency as part of its ongoing investigation into anti-trust allegations against the software giant.

Becta said yesterday that it had referred its interoperability complaint and supporting evidence to the Commission. It first lodged a complaint over Microsoft’s alleged anti-competitive practices in the schools software market with the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in October last year.

An EC spokeswoman told The Register today that although Becta’s allegations would not be considered as a formal complaint, the evidence it submitted will form part of an indirect probe into Microsoft’s business practices.

“Becta lodged a complaint [against Microsoft] with the OFT regarding two aspects – one on interoperability and the other on licences,” said a Becta spokeswoman.

“The OFT concluded that the interoperability aspect should be referred to the EC, so evidence has been forwarded on," she added, "but it will not be looked at as a complaint in its own right.” ®

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