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EU antitrust chief denies Microsoft vendetta

Microsoft partner says Neelie Kroes is "playing games," while she cites "coordinated campaign" to discredit her agency.

European Union antitrust chief Neelie Kroes on Tuesday rejected an accusation she was pursuing a vendetta against U.S. software giant Microsoft and suspected a "coordinated campaign" to discredit her agency.

"Far from pursuing a vendetta against Microsoft, the Commission's actions are guided by the desire to create the most innovation-friendly business climate in Europe to the ultimate benefit of European consumers," the European Union Commissioner wrote in a letter published in the Financial Times.

Kroes was responding to a letter published by the newspaper from a Microsoft business partner who accused the EU Commission of "playing games" with Microsoft by raising concerns over its Vista operating system that could delay its launch in Europe.

"There appears to be a coordinated campaign to portray the Commission in a negative light," she said, noting she had seen it suggested that the EU executive might seek to stop Microsoft from improving the security of the system.

"This is categorically not the case," she wrote.