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Consumers against Microsoft – Action suit agreed


A californian judge has agreed that a class-action suit filed on behalf of consumers against Microsoft can proceed to trial. The suit alleges that Microsoft's monopoly in the desktop software market harmed Californian consumers.

Attorneys representing Microsoft and the plaintiffs are meeting on October 4 2000 for a status conference, but the trial will not begin until March 2002.

Richard Grossman, a Lawyer with a San Francisco-based law firm stated that millions of Californian consumers overpaid Microsoft and the decision to allow the suit to go ahead is a major step toward gaining a remedy for them.

Microsoft's Windows and MS-DOS operating systems software and the company's Word and Excel applications purchased after May 18 1994 are the products at issue in this case.

Earlier this month, Microsoft filed a motion for the US District Court for the District of Maryland to dismiss more than half of 62 private, class-action antitrust lawsuits that have been consolidated and placed under the court's review.

Judges elsewhere in the United States have already dismissed a number of private antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft in US states, including Oregon and Nevada.

US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of Microsoft on June 7 after determining that the software giant was a monopoly. Jackson stated that Microsoft's appeal against his ruling should go to the US Supreme Court for immediate consideration because of the general public importance.

Microsoft argued that the appeal should be heard by the US Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court is expected to decide within a few weeks whether it will take the case.


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