Korean Company Sues Over Windows XP

Daum Communications, South Korea's largest Internet portal, announced today that it has filed a complaint with the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Microsoft's bundling of application software in Windows XP constitutes unfair business practices. The complaint targets Windows Messenger, which includes text, audio, and voice-communication capabilities, as well as XP's digital-media features, which let users work with digital photos, music, and videos. "Microsoft, which accounts for more than 90 percent of Korea's OS market, is using its monopolistic position to force local PC makers to buy Windows XP and other software features," the company wrote in a statement.

Daum says that it will seek an injunction barring the sale of XP in Korea. "We filed a complaint against Microsoft with the Korea \[FTC\] this morning," a Daum spokesperson said. The Korea FTC responded quickly, stating that it will investigate the charges. "We are not sure how long the investigation \[will\] take," a Korea FTC spokesperson said. "If an illegal act is found, we can issue a corrective order to Microsoft Korea."

For its part, Microsoft Korea says it needs to look into the charges before the company can respond. "We need to go through the complaint in detail before issuing any official comment," said Kwon Chan, a Microsoft Korea spokesman. "But if the \[FTC\] wants to make inquiries to us about it, we are willing to respond to it." XP has faced similar scrutiny in the United States and Europe; the European investigation will also probably result in a complaint against the company.

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