Microsoft faces antitrust complaint from software trader

Dutch software trader Samir Abdalla has filed a broad antitrust complaint against Microsoft's pricing policies with the European Commission.

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Dutch software trader Samir Abdalla has filed a broad antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, charging that the firm's pricing policies violate European Union treaties. The trader complains that Microsoft charges European users at least 30 percent higher prices than in the United States.

Abdalla has hired law firm Houthoff, a well known legal firm with a broad representation in Brussels.

Microsoft last May filed legal charges against Abdalla for allegedly illegal export of software licenses. The software maker argued that Abdalla illegally sold home and student licenses with an estimated value of $3.4 million.

Abdalla has always denied those charges. In response to Microsoft's complaint, he accused the firm of stifling the legal trade in grey software. Abdalla purchased software licenses in Egypt and then sold them in the US.

The practice is known as grey trade and although banned in the EU, it is allowed by US authorities. Back in May, Abdalla promised to file charges with European authorities.

Although it took six months longer than planned, Abdalla earlier this month filed his legal complaint with the Directorate General for Competition. The body, which is headed up by Commissioner Neelie Kroes, has a long history battling Microsoft for antitrust violations.

NEXT: Microsoft 'charges significantly higher prices'

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