Sun, May 05, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Microsoft charged with price gouging

AFP , TAIPEI

The government has formed a special taskforce to investigate Microsoft over accusations it has abused its software monopoly to manipulate prices, a report said yesterday.

The taskforce established by the Fair Trade Commission will investigate Microsoft for at least six months before taking any action against the US software giant, local media said.

According to Taiwan's fair trade law, the head of a company can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to NT$100 million (US$2.89 million) if he is found guilty of abusing the company's market dominance.

On Friday, lawmakers from the PFP charged Microsoft with profiteering in Taiwan by gouging prices for its operating systems.

They also demanded the justice ministry halt a crackdown on pirated computer software, mostly Microsoft products, before the commission completes the investigation.

The ministry Wednesday launched a drive against unauthorized software to safeguard intellectual property rights.

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