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Microsoft appeals against Korea antitrust ruling

Has not broken South Korean law, it claims

Microsoft has filed an appeal to the Seoul High Court in South Korea, seeking to reverse a decision by the country's antitrust regulators that included an order to offer versions of its popular Windows OS (operating system) without its Media Player and Instant Messenger software.

"The appeal is a lawsuit seeking revocation of the Korea Fair Trade Commission's [KFTC's] decision," said Microsoft in a statement. The company said it has not broken South Korean law, and formally requested the decision be reconsidered.

In December, South Korea's KFTC fined Microsoft 33 billion won (about £19.5m) and ordered several remedies by the world's largest software maker, including offering two versions of Windows in the country, one without Media Player and Instant Messenger and another that includes links to websites offering rival software.

"The restrictions imposed by the KFTC are more extreme than those required by the European Commission. Unlike in Europe, we would no longer be able to offer in Korea the existing version of Windows that is available everywhere else in the world," Microsoft said.

The company added that the KFTC's decision would create "complexities" for Korean PC hardware and software manufacturers and "erode their competitiveness in the global market".

An English-speaking spokesperson for the KFTC was unavailable.

The KFTC's decision followed a 21-month investigation into Microsoft's business practices sparked by a complaint over messaging software from South Korean internet portal operator Daum Communications filed in 2001, and a separate case by RealNetworks regarding audio and video software in 2004.

Microsoft last year settled with Daum in a package valued at $30m (£17m), while it paid RealNetworks $761m (£437m) in an out-of-court deal.

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