Microsoft, the computer software giant created by the Bill Gates, is the target of new legal action. A rival American company RealNetworks says that Microsoft is unfairly controlling the market for software for online video and audio software.
This report from Andrew Walker:
Microsoft's leading product, called Windows, dominates the world market for personal computer operating systems, the basic programmes that enable a PC to use specific applications such as email and the internet. RealNetworks complains that customers using Windows get Microsoft's programmes for watching video or listening to sound from the internet, whether they want them or not.
At the same time, the company alleges Microsoft restricts how computer manufacturers can install rival software.
RealNetworks accuses Microsoft of pursuing a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years. The result, according to RealNetworks, has been that it has lost substantial revenue and business.
Microsoft has rejected the allegations. In a statement the software giant said that there is vibrant competition in the market for online media software. It also said that that this is a case where a leading firm - RealNetworks - is trying to use the law to protect and increase its market share and to limit the competition it must face.
Andrew Walker, BBC Economics Correspondent
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rejected the allegations
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