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Supremes reject Microsoft's Novell request

Ancient anti-trust claim gets go-ahead

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The Supreme Court rejected an attempt today to throw out a claim by Novell that Microsoft tried to undermine the market for Novell's WordPerfect in the mid-90s.

The Supremes said Novell can go ahead and sue Microsoft under Federal anti-trust laws.

Novell claims Microsoft "specifically targeted WordPerfect and other office productivity applications". Novell claimed Microsoft did this to support its operating system monopoly.

But Microsoft argued that because Novell did not offer a competing operating system, it could not bring action under anti-trust laws.

Novell also accuses the software giant of deliberately witholding technical information which it required to get its products to interact properly with Microsoft products. Novell's evidence includes an email from Bill Gates making clear the competitive advantage of delaying the handover of information, Bloomberg reports.

Novell sold WordPerfect to Corel in 1996. ®

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