Try the new FT.com

November 2, 2005 10:27 pm

Seoul doubts Microsoft will pull-out Windows

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments

Microsoft is unlikely to pull its Windows software out of South Korea as a result of an antitrust dispute over instant messenger and Media Player bundling, South Korea’s information and communication minister said on Wednesday.

Korea means too much to Microsoft and Microsoft means too much to Korea for the software giant to make good on its threat, Chin Dae-je told the Financial Times.

“They are world class – one of the best corporations in the world – so I think they have a responsible mindset,” Mr Chin said, adding the issue was sensitive because antitrust deliberations were ongoing.

“In Korea more than 10m people use Microsoft so I don’t think they will pull out so quickly,” he said. “They have responsibility as a corporate citizen. Korea is serving them very well and they are serving Korean customers very well.”

Microsoft last week threatened to withdraw Windows if South Korea’s antitrust watchdog ordered it to remove programming for its instant messenger and Media Player.

Daum Communications, a local portal, complained to the Korea Fair Trade Commission in 2001 that Microsoft’s bundling of its messenger service into the Windows operating system breached competition rules.

The KFTC last year broadened its investigation after RealNetworks, a US multimedia software company, accused Microsoft of tying its media player into its operating system – which allegedly hurt rival multimedia software companies.

Microsoft said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week that it “might be necessary to withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions in Korea” if the watchdog ordered it to change Windows specifically for Korea.  

Microsoft Korea has since played down the chances of quitting the local market. A KFTC decision is imminent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

  • Share
  • Print
  • Clip
  • Gift Article
  • Comments

EMAIL BRIEFING

Sign up to #techFT, the FT's daily briefing on tech, media and telecoms.

Sign up now

NEWS BY EMAIL

Sign up for email briefings to stay up to date on topics you are interested in

SHARE THIS QUOTE