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Federal Cartel Office In Germany To Investigate Microsoft

The Federal Cartel Office has announced that Microsoft will be examined and that it will examine the group’s “cross-market significance”. It is not yet possible to say whether anything will come of this, but Microsoft is not alone here.

The Bonn-based authority has recently put several US IT companies operating in Germany to the test, including Amazon, Meta, and Apple. Now Microsoft is joining this prominent squad. Because the Federal Cartel Office has initiated proceedings against Microsoft “to check whether the company is of outstanding cross-market importance for competition,” as one writes in the context of a press release.

Process in two Steps

This is based on new powers that the Federal Cartel Office received in 2021 as part of the extended abuse control over large digital groups. According to its own statements, the authority can prohibit certain anti-competitive practices in a two-stage procedure for companies that are of outstanding cross-market importance for competition.

In the case of Microsoft, one is of course in the first stage, here any “cross-market importance” should be determined: “An indication of such a position can be the existence of a digital ecosystem that extends across different markets often difficult to attack by other companies,” write the German market watchdog.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office, explains that thanks to Windows and Office, Microsoft “traditionally has a very strong position in operating systems and office software”. In addition, there are cloud services such as Azure and OneDrive, communication software teams and Xbox gaming, the career network LinkedIn, the search engine Bing and, most recently, the integration of AI applications. Mundt: “In view of this, there are good reasons to check whether Microsoft is of outstanding cross-market importance. Such a determination would allow us to take up any anti-competitive behavior at an early stage and to prohibit it.”

The Cartel Office emphasizes that the decision to initiate proceedings has not yet been linked to a procedure for investigating specific behavior by Microsoft.

Mark Goodman

Digital marketing enthusiast and industry professional in Digital technologies, Technology News, Mobile phones, software, gadgets with vast experience in the tech industry, I have a keen interest in technology, News breaking.

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