Microsoft May Become First Defendant In Chinese Anti-monopoly LawsuitAugust 4, 2008 | Print | Comments | Category: Law & Policy
As China's first anti-monopoly law went into effect on August 1, 2008, Microsoft (MSFT) has been targeted by Chinese IT companies for suspected monopolistic activities and may become the first defendant in a Chinese anti-monopoly lawsuit.
Cao Can, general manager of Evermore Software, told First Financial Daily that the domestic office software producer has been collecting proof of Microsoft's monopolistic activities and will fight against the U.S. software giant when the conditions are mature. Cao says his company paid great attention to the anti-monopoly law when it was still a draft, because the monopoly activities of Microsoft in sales and technology harm the interests of Evermore Software and restrict the development and innovation of China's software industry. The anti-monopoly lawsuit against Microsoft can send a signal to all the other multinational corporations that conduct monopolistic activities in the Chinese market.
Other Chinese IT companies, including Kingsoft, are also reportedly researching the new anti-monopoly law to see whether it is feasible to file a formal lawsuit against Microsoft. Some of them even say that no matter win or lose, they will definitely bring Microsoft to court, because according to the anti-monopoly law, Microsoft undoubtedly holds a monopoly in the Chinese market.
What many of these Chinese companies short-sightedly miss is that for many years they have received subsidies from the Chinese government that put foreign companies at a disadvantage both in China and abroad. In addition, there are still many sectors in the Chinese technology sector that are off-limits. For example, China Unicom, China Netcom, and China Mobile, have long had an oligarchy within China's telecommunications sector — licenses for Internet content providers, including online video websites, are still closed to foreign businesses.
Most importantly, a large share of Microsoft software used in China is not legally purchased or used, so a good case can be made that the Chinese software pirates are working towards creating a monopoly in China.
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