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Microsoft Antitrust Update: Juror Nixed

Juror in Iowa antitrust trial against Microsoft dismissed for undisclosed reasons.

(Des Moines, Iowa) A juror was dismissed Wednesday for undisclosed reasons from the class-action antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. The dismissal leaves 11 jurors to review allegations that Microsoft used anticompetitive practices that caused thousands of Iowans to pay more for the company's software than they would have otherwise.

Judge Scott Rosenberg said he considered the dismissal a personal matter and would not say why the juror was dismissed.

Plaintiffs attorneys Roxanne Conlin and Richard Hagstrom said juror dismissals are not unusual in lengthy trials.

"It will not affect our case," they said in a statement Wednesday.

Rich Wallis, a Microsoft lawyer, said he does not anticipate any other dismissals, though he expects the remaining jurors will be in court longer than the six months initially predicted.

Seven men and five women were seated Nov. 21 to hear the case in Polk County District Court. They began hearing opening statements Dec. 1.

Conlin and Hagstrom said experts will place damages in excess of $300 million.

Microsoft, which denies any overpricing, says its products have been widely accepted by consumers because of their low cost and high quality.

More than 80 prospective jurors were questioned before 12 were chosen for the civil trial, which would normally have eight jurors. The lawyers and Rosenberg agreed in this case to allow 12 in case some had to be dismissed or leave.

Both sides agreed to allow all jurors remaining at the end of the case to deliberate. They also agreed to permit the jury to fall to as few as six jurors.

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