On 11 June, the Seoul District Court dismissed for lack of evidence claims for damages by two Korean software companies against Microsoft totalling ?40 billion (around $32 million) for alleged abuse of dominance. Digito.com and Sanview Technology Inc. had alleged that Microsoft's bundling of its instant messenger and Windows Media Services programmes with its operating system had caused them financial damage. The Seoul District Court, however, rejected the claims, stating that Sanview Technology's products "lacked price competitiveness, after-service and quality" and that there was insufficient evidence that Microsoft's actions caused Digito’s "failure in the market".

Background

In 2006, Microsoft was fined ?32.49 billion ($26million) by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for having abused its dominant position by bundling Windows Messenger, Windows Media Player and Windows Media Server with its operating systems products. This was one of the largest fines ever imposed on a single company by the KFTC. While striking out the claims, the Korean press notes that the Court nonetheless acknowledged that “Microsoft’s sales practices breached fair competition regulations by bundling its related programs, [and] abusing its market dominance”.

What next?

It was reported that the plaintiffs lodged an appeal against the District Court decision on 6 October.