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S. Korean watchdog clears Oracle of bundling sales

All Headlines 06:00 April 13, 2016

SEJONG, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Wednesday that it has cleared U.S. tech giant Oracle Corp. of unfair trading practices related to bundling its new softwares with maintenance services.

Oracle has been under the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) investigation as the company sold its latest database management system (DBMS) with repair patches to deal with possible bugs and receive major upgrades. Its customers were not given the choice to switch to other companies' maintenance systems.

The so-called "lock-in" practice has been criticized for reinforcing its market control by forcing the users to continue to buy the next versions after the software contract expired.

The FTC said Oracle's practice does not consist of bundling as the software is not compatible with other maintenance services provided by Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp.

And it does not restrict the customer's right of choice as the customers were free to switch companies and the prices of the service are not far more expensive than those of its competitors, added the watchdog.

The FTC's probe was the first of its kind carried out anywhere in the world that looked into whether the business model pursued by Oracle is unfair and restricts fair competition.

brk@yna.co.kr
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