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Korean software firm sues Microsoft

Anti-trust damages sought

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Microsoft has been slapped with a lawsuit filed by Korean instant messaging program developer Digito.com, which is claiming millions of dollars in anti-trust damages.

According to Korean newspaper Chosun, the US software mammoth has been accused of causing a loss in sales revenue estimated at W30bn (US$1=W918) because the firm's Windows operating system comes pre-loaded with a media player and instant messaging.

Seoul Central District Court confirmed yesterday that Digito was suing Microsoft in the US and Korea, claiming that the software giant had violated the Fair Trade Act since 2000.

Korea's first instant messenger was created by Digito in 1998 under the moniker Soft Messenger.

A Digito spokesman told Chosun: "If Microsoft hadn't bundled its instant messaging program with its operating system we could have reaped significant profits."

Just last week, Microsoft dropped an anti-trust appeal after the firm had been ordered to pay a $34m fine by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for breaking anti-trust laws by bundling its media player and messenger programs with Windows.

The KFTC also demanded that Microsoft should offer a version of its software without the pre-loaded applications. ®

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