Netscape is suing Microsoft in the US Federal Court, claiming that the software giant illegally harmed its web browser business through its anti-competitive behaviour.
Now part of AOL Time Warner, Netscape wants Microsoft to be held liable for three times the damages it inflicted on Netscape because of its campaign of "anti-competitive and exclusionary acts" in the web browser market.
The seven-count lawsuit is based on the recent US court verdict that Microsoft broke antitrust laws in the fight to establish its own web browser over Netscape Navigator.
Randall Boe, general counsel to AOL, said in a statement: "Netscape's lawsuit is a logical extension of the findings entered by the District Court and unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeals that Microsoft thwarted competition, violated antitrust laws and illegally preserved its monopoly at Netscape's expense.
"There is no question that Microsoft's conduct violated the law and harmed competition and consumers."
The company asked for an immediate injunction against "ongoing and further damage" involving Netscape's browser. AOL said that it "seeks to recover all the damages to Netscape in accordance with the law", but did not specify an amount.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix, said that it is clear that Microsoft's troubles with lawsuits, both from the government and from vanquished competitors, are far from ended.
"AOL is clearly thinking to go beyond the government's proposed compromise with Microsoft and seek damages in a market where Netscape lost a dominant presence to Internet Explorer," he said.
Gartenberg added that the move is competitive rather than a serious attempt to recover potential revenues lost to Microsoft's rival browser. Netscape has asked for a jury trial.
Microsoft was not immediately available for comment on the suit.
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