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Microsoft faces fresh antitrust probes in Ireland and Spain

Company not expecting the Spanish Inquisition

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft is facing more antitrust scrutiny as Spanish competition authorities announced an 18-month review of Redmond’s licensing practices in Spain and Ireland.

The Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) said that the investigation will look into possible restrictions on operating systems licensing in the two countries, and is not taking a mañana approach to the probe. The CNC said it has good evidence and should have the case completed in 18 months.

“This case originated in a complaint filed by Elegant Business SC for a possible breach of competition law,” the CNC said in a statement badly mangled in translation.

“In the course of the investigation of that case, the Research has had access to certain information that may be inferred the existence of prima facie evidence of the commission, by Microsoft with a violation of the Articles 1 and 2 of the Competition Act and Articles 101 and 102 TFEU as a result of actions and agreements Microsoft aimed at preventing or limiting unreasonably reselling software licenses that operator.”

The charges covered under the articles include restrictive practices (Article 101) and abuses of a dominant position (Article 102), but no other details have been given as yet. El Reg wonders if Microsoft expected the Spanish Inquisition, but it appears so, since the company issued the following statement:

“We have received the formal notice on the CNC investigation, and will work closely with the authorities on the issues in hand.”

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