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Web giants face off in court

(China Daily)

08:11, April 20, 2012

A high-profile dispute over online monopoly between China's Internet giants hit the off-line world during a court hearing in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Wednesday.

Tencent Holdings, China's largest instant messaging service provider, was accused in the Guangdong High People's Court on Wednesday of abusing its dominant market position in a case filed by Qihoo 360, an anti-virus software company.

A decision against Tencent could cost the company as much as 150 million yuan ($23.8 million) in compensation, and make the Internet giant publicly apologize for having misused its dominant market position.

The hearing, which attracted about 300 listeners, including experts, industry insiders and local lawmakers, lasted for more than eight hours before the panel of three judges announced an adjournment, without providing a date for continuation.

Qihoo 360 has accused Tencent of violating the country's anti-monopoly laws by, among other actions, introducing bundled sales to prevent its users from installing Qihoo's software, said Ning Xuanfeng, one of Qihoo 360's lawyers.

Those moves damaged the principle of fair competition, Ning said.

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