In an e-mail statement, Microsoft did not address specifics of the deal. "Microsoft operates its business in accordance with both the laws of the countries in which it operates and with international law," the company said.
Bancilhon, who implied in his blog entry that bribery may have been involved in the deal, said he does not believe anything was illegal.
Mandriva is not going to take legal action, although he said he is still gathering facts. "It's way too early to make any kind of decision," he said in an interview.
But a researcher based in the Netherlands who studies software in developing countries said Africa has been prone to deals that might be ethically questionable elsewhere.
"At the very least, this is a waste of public resources," said the researcher, who did not want to be identified.