Brazil's Justice Ministry will recommend that Microsoft be fined and banned from bidding for government contracts following claims that the software giant's Brazilian division had taken part in antitrust practices.
A unit of the Ministry, which specialises in economic law, claimed that Microsoft Brazil abused its economic might to dominate the market in software packages for personal finance.
The statement said the Ministry would recommend that a separate Brazilian agency impose a fine on Microsoft of up to 30 per cent of last year's local sales. It also recommends a five-year ban on Microsoft bidding for government contracts.
According to US reports, the Ministry's recommendation was in response to a suit filed in 1998 by Brazilian engineering and information technology firm Paiva Piovesan that accused Microsoft of antitrust practices.
Microsoft spokesman Ricardo Adame said the company had not done anything wrong in the Brazilian marketplace. "We're looking forward to a review of these issues and to the opportunity to correct several points we respectfully disagree with," he told US reporters.
The issue concerns a 1998 promotion in which Microsoft bundled Money and Office together, a campaign that sold about 4500 units.
Adame explained that this kind of promotion is very common. "Due to the small volume of this promotional sale, it didn't really have any anti-competitive impact in Brazil," he said.
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