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MathWorks Software Licenses Probed by EU Antitrust Regulators

MathWorks Inc., a maker of product-design software for engineers, is being investigated by European Union antitrust regulators over its refusal to supply a rival with information to help it make compatible products.

The European Commission said it will check whether closely held MathWorks rejected a competitor’s request for end-user licenses and interoperability information to prevent it from “reverse engineering” or analyzing software code to make products that worked with MathWorks’ Simulink and MATLAB software, used in car design and other industries.

Microsoft Corp. was fined 899 million euros by the EU and ordered to provide data to competitors to allow servers to connect to computers using the Windows operating system. MathWorks in 2002 settled a U.S. antitrust case that examined whether it colluded with Wind River Systems Inc. to eliminate a rival for design software.

“As in the Microsoft case, the issue of software interoperability is central to this investigation,” regulators said in a statement. “The opening of proceedings means the commission will examine the case as a matter of priority.”

MathWorks, based in Natick, Massachusetts, didn’t immediately respond to a call and e-mails before normal business hours. The company makes software used by engineers to design computerized control systems for anti-lock brakes on cars, guidance systems for unmanned spacecraft and aircraft flight controls.

EU regulators said last year that they were reviewing the practices of producers of computer-aided design software.

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