The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) is likely to deliver a ruling in its antitrust case against Microsoft next week, it said today.

The KFTC said a week ago that it was likely to deliver its verdict against the software maker on November 30; but its panel failed to complete deliberations on Wednesday morning, prompting a delay until at least the next meeting in one week, said Lee Hwang, senior investigator for the Microsoft Task Force at the KFTC.

He said there is a "high probability" that the KFTC will announce its findings after its next meeting, which is scheduled for December 7.

The KFTC case is related to a complaint filed in September 2001 by Korean Internet portal-operator Daum Communications. Daum complained about Microsoft's bundling of Windows Messenger with the Windows operating system. Daum operates its own instant messenger platform in South Korea that competes with Microsoft's offering.

Microsoft settled the dispute with Daum earlier in November with a payment of $30 million. That was made up of a $10 million cash payment, an advertising contract valued at $10 million, and a further package of measures valued at $10 million including "marketing and promotional opportunities," the two companies said.