Microsoft faces fresh antitrust probe from Spanish authorities

By Tom Warren, on 20th Sep 11 11:31 am with 62 Comments

Microsoft is facing fresh antitrust allegations after Spain’s competition watchdog opened up an anti-trust probe of the company on Tuesday.

Spain’s National Competition Commission revealed on Tuesday that it plans to launch an investigation after collecting information that appears to indicate a violation of the country’s competition regulations. MarketWatch reported on Monday that the investigation is expected to be completed within 18 months. The investigation centers on allegations that Microsoft allegedly blocked third parties from selling personal computer software licences.

Microsoft has experienced a turbulent time with the European Union over the years. The European Commission ordered Microsoft to pay $794 million in fines and product a version of Windows without Windows Media Player in March 2004 following years of complaints from competitors. Microsoft fought the judgment and eventually bowed to pressure from the EU by announcing Windows XP Home Edition N in March, 2005. The new rules also impacted Windows Vista and Microsoft was forced to create separate versions of Windows Vista in accordance with EU sanctions brought against the company for violating anti-trust laws. The Next Web notes that Microsoft waited until May this year to launch an appeal against the huge European Commission fine, describing it as “Excessive” and “Most undeserved”.

Microsoft recently filed an EU antitrust complaint against Google. Microsoft plans to join a number of companies in registering their concerns about the European search market. Google dominates the search market in Europe with around 95% market share.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    What? Did I just wake up and we are back in nineties???

    • Anonymous

      I think I time travelled too while I was writing my technical report lol.

  • GP007

    This is stupid, but hey Spain is in financial trouble, guess they need some money right?  

    Besides, what does this actually mean?  “The investigation centers on allegations that Microsoft allegedly blocked third parties from selling personal computer software licences.”   Licences for what? Windows?  Talk about being generic, where are the specifics?

    • Anonymous

      Spain is bankrupt and is trying to shake down MSFT for cash!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    I want to buy a Macbook Pro, but don’t like the crapy software that comes bundled in. Any chance the spanish government to force Apple to sell them with Windows?

    • Anonymous

      “blocked third parties from selling personal computer software licences”

      Where does it say that Apple prevented the sale of software licenses? There is no restriction on putting Windows on a Mac.

    • Tuxplorer

      But Pedro and I HATE the Mac OS X, but like the hardware. So, why shouldn’t we get an option not to have the crappy OS X bundled?

    • Test1ngi23

      Right after Dell, HP, Acer, and Toshiba give an option to non-corporate users to buy a computer without the crappy Windows bundled. Which is never.

    • Anonymous

      Troll Much… please go back to your MacRumors site…

    • other

      Test1ngi23 is more of a Google/Linux troll (but there are usually harsher Google shills than Linux fans *cough Head of omgubuntu cough*).

    • Chris

      People have the right to post in any site they want kid.

    • OMG55

      your right, but if you have a preferred OS and think the others don’t meet your standards, then you should comment on another because you don’t like it. This then is simply a case trolling if you clearly have your preference.

    • Test1ngi23

      Your assumptions are making you look like an ass.

      I actually like Windows 7. I’m using it right now. I just also happen to like Mac OS and Linux too. Must I hate everything non-Windows in order to post here?

    • Anonymous

      Test1ngi23Actually that option is available to everyone. I just ordered a pc without Windows last month. I had a copy of W7U and didn’t want to pay for it again so they sent me a blank slate.

    • GP007

      Tisk tisk tisk, at least check facts.  Dell has tried to sell PC’s without windows a few times, and guess what?  It never worked!    Give it up, linux on the desktop is dead and done.  Even it’s chance on mobile is more or less done because quite frankly, even though Android uses the linux kernel, I don’t think of it as linux with all the proprietary code Google has tossed into the mix for it’s own services. 

    • Anonymous

      Just like Dell and other PC makers generally don’t offer Linux preinstalled. Some do, others don’t. Just like you can’t buy a new Ford from your dealer with BF Goodrich white lettered tires. You’re free to change them yourself, but what comes with the car is not going to change. Nor should it.

      Besides, what does this article have to do with bundled software?

    • Chris

      Install windows on most of the hard drive. It’s pretty simple.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      So, can you direct me to the Apple store page where I can choose the OS? I’d like a Mackbook Pro with Ubuntu. No Lion, just Ubuntu.

    • Anonymous

      No, but nobody’s stopping someone else from selling you the software.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      But they stop you frin using their software on other hardware.And remove apps from the app store only to replace them with their own.And refuse to accept apps in the app store that replicate functionality of the OS.
      Should I go on?

    • Anonymous

      There’s a good argument. Let people sell software that does exactly the same thing as components of the OS… And what’s MS doing with their Windows app store? Exactly the same thing! Stop complaining about stuff that everyone does.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      Wow! You, my friend, are a dumbass. Never heard of Google? Try to investigate things before you post crap.

      Go check that AVG story… I’ll wait…

    • Anonymous
    • Chris

      It’s called boot camp. Quit being lazy. You want windows on a mac you have to do the work your self.

    • Anonymous

      Wow… you are failing at understanding his point.

      Microsoft had to give a browser ballot where you choose the browser at initial set up.  This is because microsoft was said to be abusing its OS power to get people on IE.  But my understanding on Pedros comment is that Apple is abusing its hardware power to get people on OS X.  Therefor he wants an OS ballot.

      Dont take it too serious.

    • Anonymous

      For market control comparisons why can’t I get a different browser on my iPhone or my iPod?  Why can’t I choose the browser I want (or hell, the market I purchase apps through) on my Apple device?

      Why the hell doesn’t Apple get the just monopoly attention they deserve too?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t want bootcapmp or OSX. I want a clean windows/linux/chrome install. How do I do that?

    • Anonymous

      You don’t even know the real details of the story, yet you’ve already declared MSFT guilty as charged!

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t declare them guilty. I just applied the quoted accusation to another company for the purpose of comparison.

    • Chris

      Have you ever used OSX or just basing what you read on the internet.

    • OMG55

      I’ve used it and repaired many Macs on a daily basis and despite the claims of never receiving viruses, never crashing, along with hardware superiority, I’m hate to tell you  this, but it is far from perfect. It only has a pretty hardware shell. The OS itself also needs many improvements; But there will always be Mac and Windows users alike who want perks they deem necessary, unfortunately, everyone can’t have their cake and eat it too.

    • Anonymous

      You repaired Macs on a daily basis? How old were they? Out of warranty? What kind of repairs did you have to make? Why didn’t you have Apple do the repairs?
      What improvements would you make? Not changes, but improvements.You also make it sound like you’ve run into OS X viruses. Which ones?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      I repair Macs on a regular basis. Normaly with little to no use. I install Windows 7 on them, and my customers can go back to work!

    • Anonymous

      Installing Windows 7 is not a repair. You have completely avoided answering my questions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      You are right. The repair only is complete after the replacement of the silly keyboard.

    • Anonymous

      Once again not a repair… Use of the word ‘repair’ implies that something was actually broken or not functioning as designed. All you’re talking about are preferences.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      God, I’m feeding a troll… and a dumb apple fan troll, no less!

    • Anonymous

      So, instead of actually saying anything relevant, you resort to insults.

      I tried to engage you in an actual conversation, but I guess that’s not possible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      Look, I really like Apple hardware. I HATE APPLE OS!. I know that for you apple fans, it must be impossible no to love OSX. But I just don’t like it, I hate the tham thing. And don’t get me started on Apple development tools.
      I would gladly buy a Apple notebook if they suplied decent drivers, but they don’t.

      Now, some of my clients are idiots. They don’t have a single application that runs on Mac, but still they inisit in having something with a glowing apple in the back. And the only way to make the thing work is installing a real OS. Get that? Is it to much for your brain? Or did it just exploded?

    • Anonymous

      Again, your hatred has noting to do with the conversation. All you’re doing is screaming about something nobody asked you about.

      And showing your ignorance in the process. With every answer you bring up something else completely unrelated to the topic. Now it’s Apple dev tools.

      And then calling your clients idiots because they buy something you don’t like? I bet you don’t dare call them idiots face to face. Arrogant!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      Ok, someone that buys a computer incapable of running their own sofware isn’t an idiot?

  • http://profiles.google.com/tourehenry Touré HENRY

    Looking for an easy buck eh Spain ? 

  • Anonymous

    Hmmmm….Not sure I understand why Microsoft should be required to let third parties sell lisences to Microsoft’s product.  Guess we’ll find out the details when this goes to court.

    • Anonymous

      For 95% of the time you can’t buy direct from Microsoft. You would go to a LAR.

    • Anonymous

      Whats LAR?

    • Anonymous

      Corrupt Spanish courts = guilty verdict certain. It’s a done deal!

  • Anonymous

    “…investigation was launched after collecting information that could indicate a potential violation” Could indicate a potential violation??  I agree with everyone else. Did we all just wake up in the 90′s? Do we have to repeat the Y2K bug too?  lol.

  • Anonymous

    This article leave a lot of information to speculation. What do they mean by “ blocked third parties from selling personal computer software licences”? Does that mean someone was not allowed to sell their own software, or were they not allowed to sell MS software without permission? If it’s the latter, the case is just a waste of taxpayer Euros… And Spain is already short of those.

  • Anonymous

    lol I heard spain is behind the times but this is ridiculous. have they looked at google recently?

  • Anonymous

    I guess as you find more European countries fall into debt crisis, they will have to start finding money any way they can.  If you are a successful American company, you better be careful.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

      crap. you beat me to it.

  • Chris

    Doesnt surprise me. They are Mexicans after all

    • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

      WTF

    • Guest

      he’s name is Chris Gonzales

      and he’s face doesn’t get much Mexican than that… I’m sure he was kidding

    • rjinaz

      Are you like 12 or just stupid?

    • Anonymous

      Stupid comment! I didn’t know Archie Bunker could type.

    • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

      Trolling Trolling Trolling…..

  • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

    What about Google, eh España?

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    No one expects the spanish inquisition!!!

    But anyway, i would not really worry about it.

  • Paraules

    Spain, the first European country in software piracy.

  • Anonymous

    What about Apple? They have a tremendous monopoly on music players and they even control the only way to get software on the devices too!

    Why hasn’t Apple been sued yet?