updated 3/27/2006 12:36:37 PM ET 2006-03-27T17:36:37

Microsoft Corp. filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging a set of punitive measures that South Korea's antitrust regulators imposed on the U.S. software company for its alleged unfair business practices.

The suit, filed with the Seoul High Court, has been widely expected as Microsoft said after the December ruling by the Fair Trade Commission that it would take the case to court.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

"Microsoft continues to believe that its actions are consistent with Korean law and have benefited Korean consumers and the Korean technology industry," the company said in a statement announcing its appeal.

The ruling, which was finalized in February, said that Microsoft's practice of tying certain software to Windows was an abuse of its dominant position in the market.

The commission ordered the U.S. company to pay a fine of $33.6 million and provide two separate versions of Windows: one stripped of the Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger, and the other carrying links to Web pages that allow consumers to download competing versions of such software.

"Microsoft would no longer be able to offer in Korea the existing version of Windows that is available everywhere in the world," the company said.

The commission's decision "would create complexities for Korean hardware and software manufacturers in a way that would erode their competitiveness in the global market," it said.

Regulators began investigating Microsoft after a local Internet portal, Daum Communications Corp., filed a complaint with the commission in 2001. Microsoft reached a $30 million settlement with that company in November 2005.

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