Microsoft Corp, the worlds largest software maker by revenue, logged the highest price of its stock on its Frankfurt listing today, Wall Street being on Labor Day holiday. Shares rose despite Chinese authorities issuing a deadline for the US-based software giant to reply to a query, souring the tone of an ongoing anti-trust investigation.
“(A) special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days,” the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the Chinese anti-trust watchdog, said on its website.
In response, Microsoft issued a statement on its website, the company said it was “serious about complying with Chinas laws and committed to addressing SAICs questions and concerns”.
Chinese legislation demands there be no “bundling” of peripheral software to Microsofts widely popular operating system Windows, such as media players. Additionally, there must be no incompatibility issues with Windows.
“In Microsoft’s case, the alleged violations are quite severe, as incompatibility and bundling limits consumer choices, and impedes technological innovations, the main considerations in antitrust cases,” Wang Junsheng, antitrust lawyer with Yingke law firm said for the Financial Times.
The US giant has faced similar issues in the EU and US, as well as China, previously, though it is not the only foreign company to be targeted by Chinese authorities recently. US-based Qualcomm, the biggest manufacturer of chips used in mobile phones, was accused of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards.
Microsoft Corp was up 0.42% by 13:02 GMT to trade at €34.580 (~$45.61) per share in Frankfurt. The stock closed at $45.43 per share in New York last Friday, up 35.41% for the past 12 months and valuing the company at $374.34bn. According to a Financial Times survey, 26 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Microsoft Corporation have a median target of $48.50, with a high estimate of $56.00 and a low estimate of $34.00. The median estimate represents a 6.76% increase from the last price of $45.43.