News

Court Continues Microsoft-Novell Antitrust Case

Two antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Two antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz of Baltimore dismissing four of Novell's six claims but keeping the other two alive.

Novell alleges Microsoft used its monopoly power to limit sales of WordPerfect, a word-processing program, and Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet program.

The appellate court agreed with the lower court that the four claims that were dismissed were filed after the statute of limitations expired.

The other two claims are not subject to the same deadline because they were based on anticompetitive conduct alleged in a Department of Justice complaint, the appeals court said.

"Taking Novell's allegations as true, as we must, the injury that Novell alleges here is plainly an injury to competition that the antitrust laws were intended to forestall," appeals court Judge Allyson Duncan wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Dennis Shedd.

Judge H. Emory Widener Jr. also heard the arguments in the case but died before the panel filed its decision.

Novell's two remaining claims allege:

  • Microsoft unlawfully "obtained and maintained its monopoly power in the Intel-compatible operating systems market by engaging in anticompetitive conduct."
  • Microsoft engaged in exclusionary agreements with manufacturers that amounted to unreasonable restraint of trade.

Novell, which sold WordPerfect and Quattro Pro to Corel in 1996, previously reached a $536 million settlement with Microsoft on antitrust claims involving its NetWare operating system.

Featured

  • Microsoft, AT&T Ink Deal Around Microsoft 365, AI and Edge Computing

    Microsoft put the spotlight on its strategic collaborations during Day 3 of Inspire, chief among them a "multiyear" alliance with AT&T.

  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Windows 10 Version 1903 Set for Wider Availability

    Microsoft alerted users that those not presently using the most current version of Windows 10 will soon be prompted to make the switch.

  • Silver Pins

    Microsoft Launches Preview of Azure Proximity Placement Groups

    Organizations managing complex applications in Azure can begin test-driving a new capability that helps alleviate network-latency concerns.