US Court overturns Win95-browser injunction

A US court has overturned an injunction that prevented Microsoft from requiring computer makers that use its Windows 95 operating system to also use its Internet Explorer Web browser.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that a lower court made both procedural and substantive errors in imposing the injunction. One judge on the three-judge panel dissented on part of the opinion that dealt with whether the lower court had made substantive errors, but agreed with the majority that the injunction should be overturned on procedural grounds.

The US Department of Justice said that it is disappointed with the appellate court decision and is reviewing its options.

"We remain confident that the evidence and our legal arguments in our antitrust case filed on May 18, 1998, will demonstrate that Microsoft's conduct has violated federal antitrust laws," the agency said in a statement.

The May lawsuit, filed in tandem with lawsuits by attorney generals in 20 US states, argues that Microsoft is using its dominance in the operating system market to unfairly gain advantage in the browser and Internet market by bundling its Internet Explorer browser with Windows 98.

Microsoft predicted that today's decision would affect the outcome of the broader case involving Windows "This is a great day for consumers. Today's decision affirms the central principle Microsoft has been defending that every company should have the freedom to improve its products and integrate new features on behalf of consumers," the company said in a statement. "Both of the government's lawsuits are based on the same argument rejected today by the appeals court that Internet Explorer is separate from Windows, so we believe today's ruling will be very helpful to provide guidance to resolve the Window 98 lawsuit."

The appeals court also granted a Microsoft request that it require the district court to revoke or revise its assignment of the matter of a permanent injunction to a special consultant to the court, dubbed "special master".

"We find that the district court erred procedurally in entering a preliminary injunction without notice to Microsoft," according to the majority opinion published today on the court's Web site, at http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/.

District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson also erred "substantively" is his reading of a 1995 consent decree between Microsoft and the US Department of Justice, according to the appeals court.

The appeals court said that the union of Windows 95 and Explorer is "a genuine integration" and that Microsoft is not prevented from offering the browser as an integrated product.

"On the facts before us, Microsoft has clearly met the burden of ascribing facially plausible benefits to its integrated design as compared to an operating system combined with a stand-alone browser such as Netscape's Navigator," today's opinion read in part.

The decision throws out Judge Jackson's Dec. 11 District Court injunction, which ordered Microsoft to stop the practice of licensing the use of its "operating system software (including Windows 95 or any successor version thereof) on the condition, express or implied, that the licensee also license and preinstall any Microsoft Internet browser software."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?