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.