Judge dismisses 38 private antitrust cases vs. Microsoft

By : |January 12, 2001 0

BALTIMORE: A federal judge handed Microsoft Corp a partial victory against
its legal adversaries on Friday by dismissing 38 cases accusing the software
giant of overcharging on its Windows operating system.

US District Judge J Frederick Motz dismissed the private antitrust lawsuits
mainly because the plaintiffs had not purchased Windows directly from Microsoft,
but from personal computer makers such as Compaq Computer Corp. and Dell
Computer Corp.

The judge based his ruling on a legal precedent set down in a 1977 US Supreme
Court ruling which restricts damage claims against "antitrust
violators" by parties who are not direct customers of the defendant.

The 38 cases were among 61 antitrust suits against Microsoft that have been
consolidated in Motz’s court. More than 130 civil antitrust cases have been
filed against the software maker.

A plaintiffs’ attorney said the ruling would be appealed to the 4th US
Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Microsoft had no immediate
comment on the ruling.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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