Feeds

MS swats 38 antitrust suits

Consumer argument rejected

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft today escaped forking out wads of cash when a US judge dismissed damage claims against it in 38 class-action antitrust suits.

US District Judge J Frederick Motz said Microsoft could not be sued by consumers who did not buy Windows operating systems directly from the software giant.

He rejected arguments that punters who had bought Windows installed on computers or through retailers were direct purchasers because the licenses came from Microsoft.

The decision ditches the biggest block of consumer lawsuits against the software giant.

"Although the (licensing agreement) may establish a direct relationship between Microsoft and the consumer, that relationship is not sufficient to make the consumer a 'direct purchaser'," Motz ruled, Bloomberg reports.

Today's move harks back to a 1977 Supreme Court ruling regarding a case called the Illinois Brick. It was decided at the time that buyers could not claim damages for overcharges by antitrust violators unless they bought the product directly from the manufacturer.

Since then, the law has changed in 15 States to let buyers claim against indirect purchases. Motz's ruling does not affect 25 other class action lawsuits filed against Microsoft in states that allow claims by indirect buyers.

Meanwhile, the DOJ and 19 states which brought the anti-trust case against Microsoft today urged an appeals court to uphold the earlier decision that the company should be split in two. Two days of oral argument on the appeal are scheduled for February 26 and 27. ®

Related Stories

Microsoft up to its old tricks
Sony boss: Microsoft has lost it
MS slates Q3 for MacOS X Office
MS anti-trust appeal looms
How Dubya can spring MS from DOJ rap
Microsoft race discrimination suit attracts more plaintiffs

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.