South Korea court rejects claims against Microsoft

Jun 11, 2009
South Korea court rejects claims against Microsoft (AP)
Microsoft founder Bill Gates applauds with other fans while India's Leander Paes and his partner Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy play against South Africa's Wesley Moodie and Belgium's Dick Norman in the men's doubles final of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday June 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

(AP) -- A South Korean court Thursday rejected compensation claims filed by two software companies against Microsoft Corp.

Digito.com and Sanview Technology Inc. had alleged that Microsoft's bundling of its instant messenger and Media Services programs with its operating system had caused them monetary damage.

The Seoul District Court, however, rejected the claims, citing lack of proof. Seoul-based Digito.com had sought 30 billion won ($23.9 million) in damages, while Sanview Technology, which has offices in Seoul and San Jose, California, had sought 10 billion won.

In its decision, the court ruled that though the bundling violated South Korea's fair trade rules, the companies could not blame Microsoft for their losses.

The court said that Sanview Technology's products "lacked price competitiveness, after-service and quality."

Regarding Digito.com, the court said there was insufficient evidence that Microsoft's actions caused its "failure in the market."

Sanview Technology official Joung Young-bum said his company plans to appeal the ruling. Digito.com had no immediate comment.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft welcomed the decisions, saying they "reflect the vibrant competition and innovation in the digital media and instant messaging space."

The Korean Fair Trade Commission, South Korea's antitrust regulator, fined Microsoft 32.5 billion won in 2006 for abusing its dominant market position by tying certain software to its Windows operating system.

was ordered to offer two different versions of Windows. One had to be stripped of Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger while the other had to carry links to Web pages that allow consumers to download competing versions of such software.

The company complied with the ruling, though fought it in court before ultimately giving up its legal battle.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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