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In re Microsoft Corp. Antitrust Litigation
United States District Court for the District of Maryland
127 F. Supp. 2d 702 (2001)
In the 1980s, Microsoft Corporation (defendant) had a monopoly over licensing operating systems for Intel-compatible personal computers. Additionally, many software applications would only work with Microsoft’s operating system. Several groups of consumers (collectively, the consumers) (plaintiffs) filed antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft, alleging that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive behavior to prevent users from using non-Microsoft operating systems or allowing software applications to run on computers without Microsoft’s operating system. The consumers sought damages under § 4 of the Clayton Act for three alleged antitrust injuries. First, the consumers alleged that they had to pay above-competitive prices for licenses to use Microsoft’s most popular applications, Word, Excel, and Office Suite. The consumers did not purchase software directly from Microsoft, though the licenses from Microsoft were required to run the software. The consumers also argued that Microsoft’s actions prevented them from using products that were cheaper and more advanced than Microsoft’s software, and that Microsoft’s actions degraded the performance of their computers. Microsoft filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the consumers did not have standing to bring claims related to the three alleged injuries.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Motz, J.)
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