South Korean Fine Sends Microsoft a Message

    December 8, 2005

Anti-trust regulators in South Korea fined Microsoft a megre $32 million after ruling it had abused its dominance of the software market by using the unfair business practice of tying certain software packages to the Windows OS.

The ruling also orders Microsoft to offer an alternative Windows package in South Korea within six months similar to one ordered by European trade regulators in 2004.

Last year Microsoft was ordered to pay upwards of $586 million to settle a similar case in Europe. It was also instructed to share Windows coding information and offer a n OS version stripped of Windows Media Player and the Microsoft Instant Messaging Client. The stripped versions are required to provide links to competing software makers and are supposed to actually support those competitors.

Microsoft has now been found guilty of anti-trust practices in virtually every major market in the world. The fine of $32 million is obviously an admission that the courts have little to no power to levy a significant sanction against a company the size of Microsoft. Microsoft is, of course, appealing both the South Korean and EU rulings.

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