Microsoft fined by China for breaching antitrust rules

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China has Microsoft and its Chinese partner Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media Co Ltd, or BesTV, with a fine for breaching antitrust rules, it has been revealed.

The fine followed an antitrust investigation wherein Microsoft and BesTV, were found guilty of antitrust violations. However, the companies were lucky to have evaded hefty fines or bans and were fined 200,000 yuan ($31,430) each.

Chinese authorities slapped the fine because they found that the companies failed to report to antitrust regulators that their joint venture exceeded a market share threshold that usually triggers a disclosure requirement, Reuters notes in a report.

The JV was formed by the two companies in 2013 after the Chinese government lifted a 14-year ban on foreign consoles.

The details of the violations are very sparse and doesn’t really give away as to what may have triggered authorities to impose a fine. If we speculate, Microsoft and BesTV, joined forces to garner huge market share in the growing gaming market and chances are that the JV may have ended up garnering a greater market share. However, this is just a speculation.

One thing to note here is that the fine is nothing to do with another antitrust investigation that Redmond is involved in. Last September, China started a major investigation into Microsoft regarding alleged antitrust violations. Authorities even raided Microsoft offices in China as a part of these investigations.