Thursday, 09 April 2009 07:46

Microsoft fined 9m euros for price-fixing

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Microsoft has been fined €9 million by the German competition authority for collusion with retailers to set the prices of Office Home and Student 2007.

In a statement, the authority, known as Bundeskartellamt, said the fine had been imposed because the American software company had "influenced the resale price of the software package 'Office Home & Student 2007' in an anti-competitive manner."

It said the product had been heavily advertised in in retail stationary  outlets during the autumn of 2008 .

"Amongst others, a nationwide active retailer advertised the product with financial support from Microsoft," it said.

"Even before the launch of the advertising campaign in mid-October 2008, employees of Microsoft and the retailer in question had agreed on at least two occasions on the resale price of the software package."

The authority added that contacts between supplier and retailer regarding resale prices should not lead to co-ordination where the supplier actively tried to co-ordinate the pricing activities of the retailer and the retailer and supplier agreed on the retailer's future actions.

"In the present case, this boundary has been crossed," it said, adding that Microsoft had accepted the fine.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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