HangingChad writes "According to Fortune, there are reports that Microsoft is trying to strong arm startups to give preferential treatment to MSN Messenger and are using account information as leverage. 'If the company wants to offer other IM services (from Yahoo, Google or AOL, say), Messenger must get top billing. And if the startup wants to offer any other IM service, it must pay Microsoft 25 cents a user per year for a site license.' Of course, if the company is willing to use Messenger exclusively 'fee will be discounted 100 percent.' Getting detailed information is difficult as many of the companies being approached are afraid of reprisals."