Cyber Promotions, the US junk emailer banned by US federal judges from sending mail shots to AOL users, is taking another legal stab at the online service provider.
Still stinging from its courtroom failure when judges overruled its First Amendment claim to free speech, Cyber Promotions will now ask the court to issue an injunction against AOL?s Preferred Email filter on the grounds that it is ?a direct violation of federal antitrust laws". Preferred Mail contains a list of notorious junk email companies and users can choose either to receive or block unsolicited mail.
Cyber Promotions president, Stanford Wallace, claims the block violates antitrust laws because AOL has a 'stranglehold' on its 6.9 million customers. He is reported to have said: ?Just because America Online gives them exclusive connectivity to the Internet does not give AOL the right to control commerce on the Internet.?
However, US analysts and legal experts believe Wallace?s chances of securing victory are slim because to win an antitrust complaint, Cyber Promotions must prove that AOL has a monopoly and has locked out competition. According to Mike Godwin, staff lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, AOL does not have a monopoly because its subscribers are free to move to a choice of rival ISPs.
Meanwhile another US ISP, Concentric Network, announced it had won a permanent injunction against Cyber Promotions, banning it from sending unsolicited promotions to its subscribers. The court prohibited Cyber Promotions from ?falsely representing that (advertising) messages were sent from or endorsed by Concentric? and ordered the junk emailer to pay $5,000 in fines for allegedly implying that the ISP endorsed its ads.
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