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Microsoft Class-Action Suit Filed

Logo - NY TimesNovember 23, 1999 | The New York Times

By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawyers for private clients filed a class-action suit in San Francisco on Monday, alleging Microsoft Corp. violated California State law by overcharging for its Windows operating system.

The suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court alleged the plaintiffs “paid more for Windows than they would have paid in the absence of the illegal trust” by Microsoft, and they will try to collect damages to be determined at trial.

The suit is based in part on findings of fact by a federal judge in Washington, who found Microsoft — the world’s leading software maker — used monopoly power to harm consumers, competitors and other companies. However, District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has issued no conclusions of law in the case.

One of the lawyers who brought the suit in California, Dan Mogin of San Diego, said, “Another judge would be free to look at the findings of fact and draw his own conclusions of law.”

In one finding, Jackson said Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft charged $89 for Windows when there was “no reason to believe” that a $49 price “would have been unprofitable.” That $40 difference is of interest to the plaintiffs in the class-action suit.

Other lawyers involved in the case were Francis Scarpulla and Terry Gross of San Francisco and Timothy Cohelan of San Diego.