The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday began an investigation of Microsoft Korea to verify allegations that the local subsidiary of the world¡¯s largest software giant broke fair trade rules by packaging its instant messenger service with its Windows XP platform.

The investigation, which will continue till next Wednesday, came nearly two years after Daum Communications Corp., the nation's biggest Internet portal, filed a complaint with the FTC, claiming that Microsoft Korea was breaking fair trade rules by tying the instant messenger to its new operating system Windows XP.

The investigation also follows a European Union ruling to fine Microsoft 497 million euros for violations of the anti-trust laws for bundling music-related software with Window XP.

Korean Internet companies have accused the U.S. software giant of providing a range of applications, such as messenger software, music players and digital photo processing, with the Window XP operating system.

They claimed Windows XP could pose a threat to fair competition in the market as well as consumer choice and privacy.

Source Korean Times

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