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Microsoft hit with lawsuit over Xbox memory card ban

'Unauthorised' accessory supplier gets legal

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A UK-based manufacturer of Xbox 360 memory cards has begun legal action against Microsoft over the software giant's efforts to prevent so-called “unauthorised” memory cards being used with the console.

Datel Design & Development, the manufacturer of Max Memory cards for the Xbox 360, yesterday filed a complaint with the San Francisco District Court, accusing Microsoft of violating antitrust law.

Microsoft illegally sought to block its competitors, Datel claimed, by releasing an Xbox 360 software update earlier this month that stops gamers from storing data on unlicensed memory cards.

Marty Glick, Director of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, the law firm acting on behalf of Datel, said: “Microsoft has taken steps to render inoperable the competing Datel memory card for no visible purpose other than to have that market entirely to themselves.”

Microsoft has never confirmed what constitutes an "unauthorised" card or why it chose to prevent Xbox 360 owners from using them.

“We believe that with the power Microsoft enjoys in the market for Xbox accessories this conduct is unlawful,” added Glick.

Datel is seeking unspecified damages for the injury it maintains Microsoft has done to its business. It is asking for a jury to decide the outcome of the case. It also wants Microsoft's ban to be lifted and the software giant to be ordered not to impose the block in future.

The lawsuit documents are available to read online (PDF) now. ®

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