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Korean FTC hits Microsoft

Redmond appealing, but won't pull

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Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has ordered Microsoft to decouple its instant messaging and media player software from Windows and pay a $32m fine following a long-running investigation into the software giant.

Microsoft said it would appeal the decision, but doesn’t appear keen to follow through on earlier threats to pull its Windows software from the Korean market altogether.

Microsoft said: “We disagree with the Commission’s decision and strongly believe that Microsoft has operated within Korean law.”

It insisted competition in IM and media players in Korea was “vibrant” and said the Korean FTC’s decision would have a “chilling” effect on innovation.

So, presumably, Korea’s indigenous software industry should be thankful for Microsoft’s decision to stick up for them by appealing against the FTC decision.

In the meantime, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Microsoft to meet the demands of the Korean FTC. Afterall, this is pretty much the same course of action forced on the company by that other guardian of competition (or is that chiller of innovation), the European Union. So far, Microsoft has decided to abide by the European decision, while continuing to appeal.®

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