Microsoft fined US$32m in Korean antitrust ruling

by admin December 7, 2005 at 11:15 am

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has fined Microsoft 33 billion won (US$32 million) for abusing its market dominant position, and ordered the software giant to modify the way it packages its Windows products.

According to a statement released today by the KFTC, Microsoft was found to have violated Korea’s Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act by bundling its Windows Media Service with the Windows Server operating system, as well as its media player and instant messaging (IM) program with Windows.

The KTFC said it found such practices liable, because they constitute abuse of market dominant position and unfair trade practices under the country’s antitrust laws.

In addition, the bundling practices by Microsoft proved to have eliminated competition, leading to the monopolization of the tied product markets, the KTFC said.

Such practices “raised entry barriers” to the markets these products play in, leading to the “restriction of market competition and obstruction of consumer welfare”, according to the commission.

Microsoft has disagreed with the KFTC rulings and will appeal the decision which the software maker argues, is inconsistent with Korean law.

The company said in a statement that its integration of IM and media player functionality in Windows has created value for consumers, and opportunities for Korean developers who write applications that run on Windows and create devices for Windows.

Full story: ZDNet Asia