updated 9/14/2006 9:32:32 PM ET 2006-09-15T01:32:32

The European Union's antitrust commission plans to investigate complaints regarding Microsoft Office, said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes on Thursday.

Kroes, speaking at the Fordham Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law & Policy, did not elaborate on the investigation.

Microsoft Corp. has said its Office 2007 software will not include a way to save data in the popular Portable Document Format. Microsoft claimed it dropped plans to include the format after Adobe Systems Inc. asked it to charge customers for the ability to save Office documents in either the popular Portable Document Format or Microsoft's new, competing XPS format.

(Microsoft is a partner with NBC News in MSNBC.com.)

The EU has a long-running antitrust action against Microsoft, which dates to a 2004 EU antitrust ruling that came with a record 497 million euro ($613 million) fine. Microsoft was fined 280.5 million euros more ($357 million) in July.

Kroes said the commission's actions on Microsoft "will result in benefits in terms of industrial competitiveness and will result in more innovation and lower prices for consumers."

European Union officials warned Microsoft on Tuesday not to shut out rivals in the security software market as the company plans to launch its Windows Vista operating system with built-in protection from hackers and malicious programs.

EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said that the European Commission is "ready to give guidance to Microsoft" concerning Vista but added that it was up to the U.S. software maker "to accept and implement its responsibilities as a near monopolist to ensure full compliance" with EU competition rules.

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