India Report on Microsoft Inquiry Stirs Confusion

BANGALORE, INDIA (08/11/2000) - Microsoft Corp. (India) Pvt. Ltd. seems to have been the victim of bungling by the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB). In a statement, Microsoft Friday described as "factually incorrect" the press release issued earlier in the day by PIB that the director general of the investigation and registration (I&R) unit of India's Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTP) has recommended action against Microsoft Corporation (India) following preliminary investigation.

The PIB release of August 11 ran the headline "Microsoft Corporation (India) faces charges of monopolistic and restrictive trade practices."The Microsoft statement, issued after the initial PIB release, says that the company has permission to quote the I&R unit as saying that the report to the MRTP Commission did not in fact recommend initiation of any inquiry or other action against Microsoft India. The Microsoft statement was issued after a meeting Friday afternoon by representatives of the company and its lawyers with the I&R unit.

The MRTP Commission is set up to investigate antitrust and unfair trade practices. The PIB statement in one section indicates that the I&R unit had checked out complaints about monopolistic trade practices by Microsoft and its Indian subsidiary.

But in a later paragraph, the PIB release does suggest that the I&R unit found charges against Microsoft India to be unfounded, on the basis of an MRTP act that stipulates that a licensor of intellectual property has a right to attach any conditions to the licensee to protect its patent or copyright.

Microsoft Corporation (India) in New Delhi can be reached at +91-11-629-4600 or at http://www.microsoft.com/india/.

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