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Microsoft to appeal South Korean anti-trust ruling

Cites negative affect on consumers and innovation

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Microsoft is to appeal a ruling by the Korea Fair Trade Commission that it infringed anti-trust rules. In December, the competition regulator fined Microsoft around £15m and ordered the firm to unbundle its instant messaging and media player software from Windows.

The watchdog has now released a written report, backing up its preliminary finding that Microsoft acted in breach of competition rules by tying its media service and media player to the Windows server and PC operating systems.

Microsoft is required to unbundle its Media Service from the Windows server operating system and to offer two versions of the Windows PC operating system.

One of these will be entirely stripped of the media player and instant messaging software, while the other will contain a Media Player Centre and Messenger Centre, linking to web pages that allow competing products to be downloaded.

Microsoft has denied the breach.

"The facts do not support the commission’s position," the software giant said on Friday. "New instant messaging services and media players are flourishing in Korea. Consumers can easily obtain and use a wide range of technology from many different companies, and Microsoft has designed Windows so consumers have the freedom to use any instant messaging services or media players they choose."

The firm alleges that the decision will have a negative effect on Korean consumers and Korean innovation, and announced that it would be appealing the ruling within 30 days.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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