Chinese Antitrust Regulators Probe Microsoft For Browser And Media Player Bundling

Tensions are high between the Chinese government and Microsoft right now, with the former banning the latter's Windows 8 software for government use. Taking it a step further, China is said to be building its own operating system, which it hopes to have ready by October. On top of all that, China's been investigating Microsoft over antitrust allegations, and we've now learned that it's Microsoft's browser and media player bundling that are of issue.

Citing what Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce told reporters during a briefing in Beijing this week, Reuters says Microsoft hasn't been all that transparent about it's Windows and Office sales, but is willing to cooperate with an ongoing investigation.

Microsoft Paper

This isn't the first time that bundled software has landed Microsoft in hot water. Microsoft settled a case with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2001 related to its Internet Explorer browser in Windows, and in 2004, the European Union issued the Redmond outfit a 497 million euro ($656 million) fine and ordered the company to offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player bundled in. That fine would later balloon to almost 1.4 million euros when a Windows update ran afoul of the settlement.

It's unclear if China's probe into Microsoft will extend beyond Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. As of right now, the investigation is ongoing, with Zhang Mao promising to disclose the results to the public in a "timely fashion."