Washington, DC – This afternoon, AOL Time Warner filed a seven count complaint against Microsoft Corporation for harm caused to AOL and to Netscape by Microsoft’s illegal actions in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from the ongoing unlawful activities and trebled damages to compensate AOL and Netscape for harm caused to their businesses by the illegal activity. While based on similar facts and legal issues, the AOL suit is distinct from the goverment enforcement action initiated in 1996 and the consumers class action suit currently before a Federal court in Baltimore.
“The chickens are coming home to roost for Microsoft,” said CCIA Presisdent and CEO Ed Black. “For several years, Microsoft has operated with impunity, utilizing hordes of lawyers and lobbyists to fend off legal liabilty for their actions. Despite the fact that ten Federal judges have found them liable for antitrust violations, they have failed to reform their conduct and continue to employ illegal tactics to eliminate competition to their monopoly.”
“Netscape is the most prominent victim of Microsoft’s antitrust violations,” Black continued, “but there are hundreds of other companies and millions of consumers that have fallen prey to this conduct. Hopefully, a meaningful remedy can result from AOL’s suit or the ongoing litigation before Judge Kollar-Kotelly, and competition can be restored to this industry.”