12.27.09

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Microsoft Loses Antitrust Case in Wisconsin, to Pay Millions in Compensation

Posted in America, Antitrust, Courtroom, Law, Microsoft at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Madison, Wisconsin

Summary: Another new case is concluded, showing that Microsoft’s guilt is acknowledged by courts across the United States

BACK IN AUGUST we wrote about the settlement with Wisconsin schools. It’s one among many that we are seeing this year. The Associated Press has this new report (also here and here) which says:

An appeals court is ordering Microsoft Corp. to pay $5.6 million to a national law firm involved in a Wisconsin antitrust case against the software giant.

More information comes from the Wall Street Journal and Information Week:

The bonanza for attorneys opposing Microsoft in consumer antitrust litigation continues to pay dividends. A Wisconsin appeals court this week ordered the software firm to pay $5.6 million to a law firm that opposed Microsoft in consumer antitrust litigation.

The case, and similar cases, filed in states across the U.S. involved charges that Microsoft had overcharged for software purchased by consumers beginning in the 1990s.

[...]

In Wisconsin, the settlement called for Microsoft to give vouchers for cash after the purchase of various software and computer hardware products. For instance, a $23 voucher was made available for each Microsoft Office copy. The Wisconsin claims had to be filed by July 2007.

A detailed legal document can be found here. It was put online some days ago.

Candace Bettendorf, Bettendorf Transfer Inc., Dunn County, Jackson County, School District of Hudson and Wisconsin Counties Association, Plaintiffs-Respondents-Cross-Appellants,
v.
Microsoft Corporation, Defendant-Appellant-Cross-Respondent.

What one can learn from this is that Microsoft’s violations of the law are not history.

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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Interesting that no one has hit on it before. Microsoft appears to have two main products: marketshare and stock trades.

    Buying and selling its own stock might account for a surprising about of any money revealed by real, non-Enron accounting.

    The marketshare that is where its weakest and has nothing to do with software monopolies or operating system monopolies. Follow the money and it looks to come from OEM monopolies and file format monopolies. Break the MS Office file format monopoly with ODF and MS Office is gone. No more monopoly rents. No more profitability there. No more keeping the other divisions afloat. Break the OEM monopoly and no more monopoly rents for bundled software, and that accelerates the loss of the file format monopolies.

    If Larry Ellison tweaks his software business model to be a bit more like IBM and Boeing, he probably could blow Gates and his minions out of the water completely within a year and a half. If he does not change his business model at all, it will just grind on and on. Gates is willing to lose money indefinitely just to make sure no one else does,. but he can only continue to do that controlling the OEMs and the file formats.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft broke the law to prevent ODF from getting its way… and failed to an extent.

    Google Apps is causing Microsoft (and Novell) great harm at the moment.

  2. your_friend said,

    December 29, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Gravatar

    How sad to see another verdict settled with an advertisement for Microsoft. The company should be forced to compensate people already robbed instead of being asked to dump product on the state. Victims are asked to give Microsoft more money for second rate software and told to buy it now.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This settlement is not confined to software. Hardware is also an option.

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