PracticeConsultingEC to rule on software wars

EC to rule on software wars

Software giants Microsoft and Sage are today waiting to find out whether any EU states have complained to the European Commission over Microsoft's near £1bn acquisition of Navision.

The EC had imposed a deadline of today for receiving any complaints over the deal, before knowing whether it would have to look at the individual merits of any individual country.

But already a spokeswoman for the EC has revealed to Accountancy Age it would not investigate or block the deal as it fell below the necessary threshold for such an enquiry. This is because annual sales of Navision software are less than ? ¬250m (£162m).

However, it may still investigate the individual concerns of member states if monopoly issues are reported, with the most likely complaint to come from Denmark, where Navision has an almost 60% market share.

Representatives of Sage, including lawyers and COO Paul Stobart, approached the monopolies commission in Denmark, the EU and the Office of Fair Trading to protest over the anti-competitive nature of the deal.

The UK’s Competition Commission has confirmed ‘it is not currently’ looking into the potential deal, although the Office of Fair Trading could still ask it to investigate. Sage has claimed the deal would give Microsoft a monopoly in the SME market, effectively closing it off to any other competitors.

However, Microsoft has continually maintained the Navision deal was in full compliance with EU law and expects to finalise the deal this summer.

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