The US Department of Justice weighs with some criticism for the judgment of the S. Korean Fair Trade Commission in the Microsoft Anittrust case. Stephen Lawson at InfoWorld:
The judgment, in which the Korean agency fined Microsoft 33 billion won (US$32 million) and ordered it to offer two different versions of Windows in South Korea, among other remedies, could stifle innovation and harm consumers, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division said in a statement.
“The Antitrust Division believes that Korea’s remedy goes beyond what is necessary or appropriate to protect consumers, as it requires the removal of products that consumers may prefer,” said a statement attributed to J. Bruce McDonald, deputy assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division. “The Division continues to believe that imposing ‘code removal’ remedies that strip out functionality can ultimately harm innovation and the consumers that benefit from it.”
The FTC ordered Microsoft to offer two versions of Windows in South Korea. In one version, Windows Media Player and Instant Messenger software must be removed; the other version must include links to Web sites that allow consumers to download comparable software offered by competitors. The FTC also demanded that the Redmond, Washington, company send CDs to existing users of Windows, allowing them to replace Windows Media Player and Instant Messenger. It also ordered Microsoft to unbundle Windows Media Service from the Windows Server operating system.