As the sweetheart deal worked out between Microsoft and the Bush Administrationis Department of Justice winds its way through the appeals process, many individuals and fee-hungy trial attorneys have begun a succession of class action lawsuits against the company. These suits seek damage awards based on Microsoftis status as a convicted monopolist. The company has yet another such suit on its hands as a Florida judge has allowed Microsoft customers to band together with class action status. From an AP report: Announced in December of 2001
Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro of Miami rejected Microsoft challenges to the ability to quantify alleged overcharges, the adequacy of named plaintiffs and whether they share common issues. He concluded in a 31-page order last week that the issue of Microsoftis monopoly position, market definition and the alleged violation of state law "are ideally suited for class-wide determination."
Robert Parks, an attorney for Florida Microsoft users, said all were hurt "by the same anticompetitive actions that Microsoft took to maintain monopolies."
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said the company expects to win the Florida case. "We believe we will ultimately prevail because the facts are very clear," he said Tuesday. "We offer a product that provides great benefits to consumers at a very low price."
Microsoftis Windows pricing has steadily increased over the years to the point where it is often the single most expensive component in a PC. This has happened even as the companyis user base has broadened considerably to absorb R&D costs. You can read the full AP article at Yahoo!is Web site.