* SAIC broadens raids one week after previous raids
* Investigation for suspected anti-monopoly law violations
* Suspected violations relate to Windows, Microsoft Office
(Adds comment from Microsoft, Accenture)
BEIJING, Aug 6 A Chinese anti-trust regulator
conducted new raids on Microsoft Corp and partner in
China Accenture PLC, the agency said on its website on
Wednesday, after saying last week Microsoft is under
investigation for anti-trust violations.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC)
raided offices in Beijing, Liaoning, Fujian and Hubei, it said.
The SAIC also raided the Dalian offices of IT consultancy
Accenture, to whom Microsoft outsources financial work,
according to the regulator.
"We're serious about complying with China's laws and
committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns," a
Beijing-based Microsoft spokeswoman said in an e-mailed
Accenture also said it is involved in investigations.
"We can confirm that, as required by Chinese laws, we are
cooperating with investigators of the State Administration for
Industry and Commerce and are helping provide them with certain
information related to one of our clients," Accenture Greater
China said in an e-mailed statement, declining to elaborate.
Last week, the SAIC said it was formally investigating
Microsoft for breach of anti-trust rules and had raided four of
the software firm's offices in China.
Microsoft has been suspected of violating China's
anti-monopoly law since June last year in relation to problems
with compatibility, bundling and document authentication for its
Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software, the SAIC
said last week.
The SAIC declined to provide further comment when contacted
by phone on Wednesday.
Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Mary Snapp was in Beijing
to meet with the SAIC on Monday, where the regulator warned
Microsoft to not obstruct the probe.
But industry experts have questioned how exactly Microsoft
is violating anti-trust regulations in China, where the size of
its business is negligible.
The U.S. company has taken a public beating in China in
recent months. It has been subject to wider scrutiny against
U.S. technology firms in China in the wake of former U.S.
National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's cyber
It has also seen its OneDrive cloud storage service
disrupted in China, and had its latest Windows 8 operating
system banned from being installed on the central government's
The Microsoft investigation comes amidst a spate of
anti-trust probes against foreign firms in China, including
mobile chipset maker Qualcomm Inc and German car maker
Daimler AG's luxury auto unit Mercedes-Benz.
China is intensifying efforts to bring companies into
compliance with an anti-monopoly law enacted in 2008, having in
recent years taken aim at industries as varied as milk powder
China on Wednesday said it will punish foreign car makers
Audi, owned by Volkswagen, and Fiat SpA's
Chrysler as well as some 10 Japanese spare-part makers for
A number of multinational companies including Mead Johnson
Nutrition Co and Danone SA have been slapped
with substantial fines following similar investigations in the
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Christopher Cushing)