updated 5/22/2006 5:27:40 PM ET 2006-05-22T21:27:40

South Korea has rejected an appeal by Microsoft Corp. to overturn an antitrust decision against the world’s largest software company.

(MSNBC is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)

The Korea Fair Trade Commission on Monday turned down the appeal of the ruling, which includes a fine of $34 million.

In February, the commission issued a final ruling that Microsoft abused its dominant market position in South Korea by tying certain software to its Windows operating system. The preliminary ruling came in December.

Under the ruling, Microsoft is required to provide two separate versions of Windows after Aug. 24. One must be stripped of Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger, and the other must carry links to Web pages that allow consumers to download competing versions of such software.

Microsoft spokesman Matt Pilla said the company hadn’t seen the rejection and therefore could not comment.

In March, the Redmond, Wash.-based software company filed appeals with the commission and with the Seoul High Court seeking revocation of the ruling. The court has yet to rule, and it was not immediately clear how that might affect the commission’s decision.

The commission 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 the company in November 2005.

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