Japan drops investigation of MS, rejects DOJ

Japan's Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) dropped an investigation of Microsoft Corporation on Friday and rejected allegations from the U.S. Department of Justice that the company had done anything wrong when it integrated Windows with Internet Explorer.

"This ruling represents a significant legal victory for Microsoft in Japan," said Masaru Kitamura, a former Japanese Foreign Ministry official. "After an extensive investigation, the JFTC has concluded there is no credible evidence that Microsoft is engaging in any anti-competitive practices with respect to browsers."

"It's certainly ironic that the Japanese government has dropped all of the browser allegations, but our own government is continuing its attack on one of America's leading exporters," said Brad Smith, general counsel, international at Microsoft. "This decision is further evidence that the DOJ's attacks against Microsoft are fundamentally misguided."

The JFTC rejected several key claims of the U.S. DOJ, and found that browsing software should be made available to consumers in several ways, including integration with the OS.

"\[Nothing Microsoft has done can\] be immediately found to have tended to impede fair competition in Japan's distribution market for Web browsers," the company was informed earlier this week.

:) And in a related move, Microsoft announced that it will be moving its headquarters to Japan... (JK, folks --Paul)

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