Trade minister analyzing business practices of Google, Microsoft

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Argentine trade minister Guillermo Moreno and antitrust agency CNDC are looking into possible anticompetitive activities by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the country, local media outlet El Cronista reports.

The most advanced case is against Microsoft and concerns complaints by Pixart, a local technology company, that the software giant abused its dominant position in the market and used predatory pricing on its XP Starter Edition of Vista.

According to El Cronista, Pixart claims its open source Linux-based operating system was gaining significant market share until Microsoft released its product at prices that were "impossible" to compete with.

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In relation to Google, Moreno and the CNDC are initiating a study based on suspicions, not complaints, that the search engine prioritizes its search results based on websites that are paying money for advertisements or other services.

The study is in the initial stage of analyzing whether Google's alleged violations constitute anticompetitive conduct. According to El Cronista, the CNDC is looking for further information and studying similar cases in other countries.