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Microsoft vows to fight South Korean antitrust ruling

Give me bundling or give me death

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Microsoft will fight a South Korean government ruling ordering it to separate its IM software and Media Player from Windows and pay a $32m fine for violating antitrust laws.

"We intend to appeal this decision because it is inconsistent with Korean law," Microsoft said in a statement. Microsoft added it would "continue developing products for Korean consumers in a way that complies with all laws and is pro-competitive."

Microsoft has apparently not decided to withdraw Windows from the South Korean market, as it once threatened should it be ordered to unbundle.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) gave Microsoft six months to unbundle internet messenger, Media Player and also Media Server from Windows, saying it was hurting consumers and had raised the barriers to entry for PC server and operating system manufacturers.

Microsoft countered by saying competition is vibrant in South Korea and that the decision "could have the effect of chilling innovation" in the country.

South Korea's ruling mirrors last year's European Commission order to offer a version of Windows without Media Player, after it was found Microsoft used its market position to hurt the competition. The South Korean ruling goes further, though, by preventing Microsoft from selling the bundled version of Windows.®

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