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Korea To Hear M$ Competition Case

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A Korean government antitrust committee will hear arguments Wednesday into whether Microsoft violated competition laws by bundling programs with its Windows XP operating system.

Daum Communications, a Korean company that runs a popular Web portal and has its own instant messenger software, filed a complaint with the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) in September 2001. The company alleges that Microsoft abused its strong market position by tying Messenger with Windows XP, causing unspecified losses.

"It is unfair for customers who should be able to evaluate and purchase products after their own comparisons," said Daum spokeswoman Park Hyun-jung Friday. "Microsoft already has 90 percent of the market share [for operating systems] in Korea."

Daum alleges the market share for its messenger, called "Touch," dropped from 20.3 percent market share in August 2001 to 6.4 percent by April 2003. The company also alleges Microsoft's share rose from 29.4 percent to 75.5 percent over the same period.

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