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Microsoft still under a microscope

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Oct 12,2005
Korea’s Fair Trade Commission said yesterday that it would continue its investigation of an antitrust complaint against Microsoft Corp., the U.S. software giant. The complaint was filed last year by the local unit of RealNetworks Inc. as part of a broader attack on Microsoft’s inclusion of a music player in its Windows operating systems. That, RealNetworks said, put its similar software at a disadvantage. Microsoft has reportedly agreed to a payment of $761 million to settle the case without changing its bundling practice. After the settlement was reached, RealNetworks withdrew its U.S. civil suit against Microsoft and also withdrew its petition to regulators here in Korea. But the antitrust body said it would continue to study the original complaint, perhaps partly because it has a similar petition pending from a Korean firm, Daum Communications. Daum alleges that Microsoft’s instant messenger, also bundled with Windows, hurts its competing chat software. Both complaints to the commission charged that Microsoft had abused its position as the market leader in operating systems to promote its own media software, but Microsoft has argued that its bundling of programs was a broad trend in the software industry. The final ruling by the Fair Trade Commission is expected later this month. by Yoo Jee-ho


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