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An Italian consumer rights group plans to slap Microsoft with a class-action lawsuit this week seeking compensation on behalf of people forced to buy Windows pre-installed on new computers.

The ADUC, which specializes in public interests related to TV, internet, and telephone, said it would file the lawsuit at a court in Florence after the Epiphany holiday on Wednesday, according to Reuters. The case will be brought under a new law permitting consumer groups to file class-action lawsuits on behalf of the people they represent.

"As there is a large number of users involved, and with the importance of the free market issue, we have decided to take a collective legal action against Microsoft," ADUC chairman Vincenzo Donvito told Reuters.

The group will seek compensation for the cost of Windows software for the lawsuit's participants. Italian law doesn't allow the group to tack on punitive damages for the hurt feelings of Linux lovers.

Microsoft was not immediately available to comment on the threatened class-action lawsuit.

The report notes that ADUC has already won a pilot case in a Florence court seeking money back for non-consensual installation of Windows. ®

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