South Korea Relaxes Curbs on Web Browsers
South Korea’s government is wiping out rules for Web browsing that trapped the country’s Internet users with 1990s-era security technology and created a de facto monopoly for Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Internet Explorer here.
The South Korean rules had long stood in contrast to efforts by other governments around the world that have tried to break Microsoft’s grip on the Internet browser market. For South Koreans, they made Internet transactions a nuisance by requiring that users download plug-in programs, sometimes a dozen or so, for each website with which they did business.
Microsoft’s competitors, Internet security experts, website developers and advocates of open-source software and networks have long pushed for an end to South Korea’s rules.
The government finally took action when regulators realized the rules were preventing businesses from offering services to smartphones. As well, government antitrust officials say they want to flex their muscles over Microsoft’s dominance in Internet browsers in the same way they’ve seen their counterparts do in the U.S. and European Union.