Private MS suit gets class action status

Most recently, a Minnesota state court judge on 30 March ruled that a consumer antitrust suit could move forward as a class action case, according to Joanne Cicala an attorney with the law firm Kirby McInerney & Squire in New York, which is representing a Minnesota plaintiff.

Microsoft has said accusations that it has overcharged for Windows are false.

In January a US district judge in Maryland sided with the company when it dismissed 38 of 62 antitrust suits filed against Microsoft under federal law, saying the Redmond, Washington, company could not be sued by consumers who bought Windows through a third-party vendor. Those customers' new computers had arrived with the operating system already installed by hardware manufacturers. The customers are appealing the Maryland judge's ruling, Cicala said.

Unlike federal antitrust law, Minnesota state law lets indirect purchasers sue for damages. The Minnesota class action suit has four named plaintiffs and will seek other parties that have similar overcharging complaints following acquisition of Microsoft Windows or MS-DOS software since May 1994, Cicala said. The suits address overcharging complaints regardless of how they purchased the operating systems and do not focus solely on third-party purchases, she said.

Nine lead law firms are working on the overcharging claims against Microsoft, Cicala said. They are seeking class action status in Maine, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Michigan, she said. The list is expected to grow to include Florida and West Virginia, Cicala said.

The filing of lawsuits alleging Microsoft overcharged customers for its operating systems began after US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's November 1999 ruling that the company did have a monopoly with its Windows operating system. Based on the notion that a monopoly would allow Microsoft to overcharge for its software, over 150 cases were filed in both federal and state court against the company, Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said.

Microsoft's pricing is in line with what other vendors like Apple charge for their operating systems, Cullinan said, adding that the company spends heavily on research and development to keep its OS up to date.

"Basically, they are saying Microsoft is charging a monopoly price for Windows, and we don't think that is even close to the truth," said Cullinan. "Any suggestion that Microsoft is overcharging is simply false," he said.

None of the cases has gone to trial at this point, and Cullinan does not expect any to reach trial until 2002.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

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?