Poland forwards Microsoft investigation to EU

WARSAW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Polish consumer watchdog has forwarded to the European Commission an investigation into Microsoft MSFT.O after concluding the software giant may be harming competition by colluding with laptop makers, it said.

The consumer and competition watchdog said it was concerned that Microsoft may be cooperating with computer makers to hamper the installation of operating systems such as Linux that compete with its dominant Windows software.

“The character of the investigation -- especially the territory of the activities -- indicates that the effects of this agreement may cover the entire European Union,” the watchdog said in a statement on its website.

Because of this, the head of the agency has forwarded the collected materials to the European Commission, it said.

The EU’s executive body has already levied 1.68 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in fines on Microsoft for abusing its 95 percent dominance of the PC operating system to block its competitors. (Reporting by Chris Borowski, editing by Will Waterman)