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South Korea says regrets Microsoft’s pullout threat

November 2nd, 2005 by Patrick S

South Korea said on Wednesday it regretted a threat by Microsoft to pull its Windows software from the country in an escalating war of words ahead of a ruling that could order the U.S. software giant to unbundle its Instant Messenger and Media Player from the operating system.
Microsoft the world’s largest software maker, said last week it might withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions there if regulators ordered it to remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for that market.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) expects to wrap up an investigation soon into allegations that Microsoft breached antitrust laws by incorporating its Instant Messenger and Media Player services into Windows.

“We regret that Microsoft, which serves more than 20 million customers in South Korea, has officially mentioned that it could pull out from the country when regulators are probing the issue on a fair legal basis,” the information ministry said.

“We believe Microsoft, as a global company, should take its responsibility for its customers and companies in relation to its business.”

The KFTC began its probe in 2001 when South Korean Internet portal Daum Communications Corp. alleged Microsoft’s bundling of the operating system with other services broke antitrust rules. It widened the probe following a similar complaint from RealNetworks in 2004.

A ruling by the commission could come at any time.

“Our review on the Microsoft case has been finalised and we are trying to reach an agreement, which may or may not come today,” a KFTC spokesman said by telephone.

Microsoft has previously said the complaint was without merit and that it would cooperate fully with the probe.

“We concluded that we had an obligation to make this disclosure under U.S. securities laws as part of Microsoft’s filing of its quarterly financial statements to the U.S. government,” Microsoft said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the United States, Microsoft agreed to pay RealNetworks $761 million early last month to settle an antitrust suit accusing it of using its dominance to promote its own Media Player.

After the agreement, RealNetworks said it was dropping similar suits in South Korea and Europe.

But the Korean commission has said its investigation would not be affected by the settlement.

Source Reuters

Posted in MS News, Windows XP | 2 Comments »


This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 at 8:09 pm and is filed under MS News, Windows XP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


2 Responses

  1. Jabez Gan Says:

    Hmm… the source link is broken… 😛

  2. Patrick S Says:

    There is no link…I could not find one