Microsoft facing scrutiny over monopoly charges in Israel

JERUSALEM — The Antitrust Authority is continuing its examination into whether Microsoft should be declared a monopoly due to its share of the market, according to a governmental source.

Authority director David Tadmor sent a letter several months ago to Microsoft, which has offices in Herzliya, and informed it that the authority was considering declaring it a monopoly. The check was launched due to complaints regarding Microsoft's activities here. In response, Microsoft sent a legal representative from the United States to meet with Tadmor.

Mark Murray, Microsoft's corporate public relations manager in Redmond, said that if the company were to be declared a monopoly due to its success here, it would comply with Israeli rules.

"As far as we know, the Israeli government is not alleging that Microsoft has done anything inappropriate. In Israel, there are certain rules that apply to companies with more than a 50-percent market share in a defined product," he said. "The rules that apply in Israeli law are very similar to European rules, and we are already complying with those kind of European rules."

The authority is not likely to take any action since the root of the problem is in the United States, according to the source.

In Israel, Microsoft is the only foreign company that translates its software into Hebrew. Microsoft's only research and development center outside the United States is located at Haifa's Matam advanced technology park.