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November 7, 1995

MICROSOFT “CHARGES AMERICANS LESS FOR OFFICE THAN BRITS”

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp is not commenting, but it looks as if it could get its wrists slapped by the European Commission. The International Branch of the Competitive Policy Division of the Office of Fair Trading has received complaints from UK system integrator, Personal Computer Association Ltd Royston, Hertfordshire, alleging that Microsoft is supplying US computer companies based in Eire with cut price copies of Microsoft Office. Personal Computer Association claims that computer companies in Eire are being offered copies of Office at up to 60% less than their UK counterparts pay. Documents forwarded by the Office of Fair Trading call for an investigation into Microsoft’s price structure and alleged insistence on Office being sold through its retail distribution channel to virtually all system integrators and OEM customers in the UK. The documents claim that this fact has forced UK companies to charge more for their products. The Commission has the power to impose fines of up $700,000 or 10% of the annual turnover of the undertakings concerned.

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