Feeds

MS swats 38 antitrust suits

Consumer argument rejected

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.