Feeds

MS swats 38 antitrust suits

Consumer argument rejected

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.