South Korea court again rules against Microsoft in antirust suit

The Seoul Central District Court on Monday found Microsoft in violation of South Korea's antitrust laws for bundling software programs with its Windows operating system. The court found the company's bundling practice to be in violation of fair competition rules and disruptive to the market. The court also dismissed a demand by South Korean software company Dideonet for almost $81 million dollars for damages allegedly suffered as a direct result of the bundling, noting a lack of evidence.

This is the second suit within a few months in which Microsoft has been found liable for breach of South Korean antitrust laws. In June, the same court ruled that Microsoft violated antitrust laws by packaging software with its Windows operating system, also dismissing requests for damages from two Korean software firms on the grounds that the damages were not sufficiently linked to Microsoft's conduct.

Microsoft has frequently faced antitrust and unfair competition claims. In July, the company announced that it would offer European consumers an option to select from a list of several Web browsers "in an effort to address competition law issues related to Internet Explorer and interoperability." In February, Google sought to join a European Commission lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the bundling of software violated an EC Treaty provision that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position by bundling its Internet Explorer web browser with the Windows operating system.

(Published by Jurist - September 14, 2009)

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