Microsoft Reaches $30M Settlement With Korea Co.

November 11, 2005 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Microsoft | 2 Comments

SEOUL, South Korea – Microsoft Corp. has reached a $30 million settlement with a South Korean company that accused it of violating trade rules by tying its instant messenger software to Windows, the companies announced Friday.

 

Internet portal Daum Communications Corp. filed a complaint to South Korea‘s Fair Trade Commission in 2001 alleging Microsoft had violated the rules. Daum also filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in 2004.

Oliver Roll, Microsoft’s general manager for marketing in Asia, said the agreement involves Microsoft paying Daum $10 million in cash, another $10 million in an advertising commitment and $10 million in other business agreements.

“This agreement marks the end of our legal dispute and marks the beginning of a new era in the relationship between Daum and Microsoft,” Roll said, emphasizing the two companies have “become friends.”

The companies will also create a new online partnership, including select content from Daum appearing on Microsoft’s MSN online service as well as other marketing and promotional activities, the companies said.

The settlement comes as South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is expected to announce at any time the results of its investigation into antitrust allegations filed against Microsoft by Daum and U.S. digital media company RealNetworks Inc.

RealNetworks withdrew that complaint last month after a $761 million legal settlement in the United States with Microsoft, ending all their antitrust disputes worldwide, including in South Korea.

The Fair Trade Commission said at that time it would continue its investigation despite the settlement. On Friday, Daum also dropped the complaint, but the watchdog said its investigation will go on.

“The FTC is investigating this case not for specific people … but for consumer welfare and national economic development,” it said in a statement. “Daum Communications Corp.’s withdrawal of the complaint won’t affect the FTC’s investigation at all.”

The commission can order so-called “corrective measures” such as separating the bundled software if Microsoft is found to have engaged in unfair practices in South Korea. Fines of up to 5 percent of total sales in the country for Windows software during the period of any unfair practices can also be levied.

Roll said the Fair Trade Commission investigation was “a separate matter” from the settlement with Daum.

The European Union ordered Microsoft in March 2004 to pay 497 million euros ($581 million), share code with rivals and offer an unbundled version of Windows without the Media Player software. Microsoft is appealing.

“We’ve put a huge amount of effort into settling disputes we’ve had in the past,” Roll said of the settlements with RealNetworks and Daum.

Daum also welcomed the agreement.

“It is significant that we have reached this settlement with Microsoft on terms that we believe are favorable to Daum, and to be able to work together with Microsoft to build a new business partnership,” Kim Hyun-young, Daum’s vice chief executive officer said in a statement.

 

Well do u have a Law Suit against any Co. you might end up being a $$$

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