Microsoft found guilty of antitrust violation in South-Korea

by Tom Adelstein

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Korea’s anti-trust regulator Wednesday (Ed: Dec 7th) imposed a fine of roughly 33 billion won ($31.9 million) on Microsoft for its violation of the nation’s fair trade rule.

Microsoft will be required to offer two versions of Windows within six months - one stripped of thus far incorporated programs (Ed: Messenger and Media Player) and the other that includes most software available here.

The case focused on accusations that Microsoft violated fair trade rules by unlawfully incorporating its audio-visual program, Media Player, and instant messaging service, MSN Messenger, into its dominant Windows platform.

What does it mean for the rest of the world?

If Microsoft refuses to deliver the versions the government of Korea orders, then someone will need to provide the codecs that allow Media to be played on Linux. That could change the game considerably. Korea, China and Japan have created their own distribution of Linux. TurboLinux offers Cyberlinks PowerDVD player on its Japanese distribution.

Perhaps, Cyberlink will be forced to offer their provide to Linux users worldwide. We will have to see. I never count Microsoft out, even when the top offcial makes a ruling. They have a way of going over everybody's head.