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South Korea Orders Microsoft to Sell Stripped Windows

Microsoft officials said on Wednesday that the company will appeal an antitrust ruling by South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission.

That ruling found the company has engaged in unfair trade practices in bundling Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger with its Windows operating systems, according to reports by Reuters.

The ruling fines Microsoft $32 million and orders Microsoft to sell only a version of Windows in South Korea without the two offending programs, Reuters reported. While defending its practices, the company also backed away from earlier threats to cease selling Windows in South Korea.

“We intend to appeal this decision because it is inconsistent with Korean law. Nevertheless, we will continue developing products for Korean consumers in a way that complies with all laws and is pro-competitive,” according to a statement posted on Microsoft’s Web site.

Microsoft reached a $30 million settlement with the primary South Korean plaintiff, Internet portal provider Daum Communications, just last month.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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