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February 11, 2006

EU regulators watching Microsoft’s Vista too

Posted by David Hunter at 9:16 AM ET.

Matthew Newman at Bloomberg News (via

European regulators are reviewing complaints against Microsoft Corp. from computer makers concerned that the next version of the Windows operating system may prevent manufacturers from customizing the software.

The European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust authority in Brussels, Belgium, is “monitoring” complaints about the software, called Vista, and hasn’t started a formal inquiry, commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said in an e-mail.

“Approaches are being made about Vista by U.S. and non-U.S. companies,” Philip Lowe, the top civil servant in the commission’s competition department, said in an interview Friday in London, where he was attending a conference.

Todd said the manufacturers have expressed “concerns” and haven’t filed formal complaints. The commission can start new investigations on its own initiative and doesn’t require competitors’ complaints to do so.

Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes declined to comment.

Speculation naturally arises that these Vista concerns are the same as those recently made to US antitrust regulators, but there were no details on which manufacturers did the complaining or the actual substance of the complaints.

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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