MS to Fight Korean Antitrust Decision

The South Korean Fair Trade Commission said Friday it would finalize its ruling that Microsoft engaged in unfair business practices, a charge the company vehemently denies. Microsoft has since vowed to appeal the ruling within 30 days, and may request a stay.

A preliminary ruling fined Microsoft $32 million in December, as well as ordering the company to unbundled its Windows Media Player and Messenger software from the operating system. Microsoft was also mandated to link to competing software.

Two separate versions of Windows would be offered in South Korea under the ruling: one minus Media Player and Messenger, and another with links to competing software as an option.

The Commission is planning for Microsoft to shoot back, and said in a statement that it was “fully prepared for an expected lawsuit.”

Microsoft said in a statement that it believes the facts would show that the company has acted within Korean law, and its media player and instant messaging products within Windows are legal and have benefited Koreans.

It also pointed to new instant messaging services and media players that were “flourishing” within the country. Microsoft added that it had designed Windows to allow a consumer to be free to choose what messaging service and media player they wish.

“The facts do not support the Commission’s position,” the company said.
“If allowed to stand, this decision will have a negative effect on Korean consumers and Korean innovation.” Microsoft added that it failed to see how consumers would benefit from the proposed new versions of Windows.

If the decision is allowed to stand, it would mark the second time in as many years that Microsoft would have been forced to substantially alter Windows to appease antitrust concerns of foreign governments. The company currently offers Windows XP ‘N’ in Europe, which stands for “not with media player.”

News source: Betanews


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