Microsoft has asked the federal judge overseeing the 62 private antitrust lawsuits it faces to dismiss all the claims.
The software giant argued in a 40-page document submitted to the US district court in Baltimore that because consumers buy Windows operating systems through PC and device manufacturers, rather than direct from manufacturers, antitrust laws do not apply.
The motion relies on a legal argument from a 1997 Supreme Court case concerning price fixing by an Illinois concrete block manufacturer. A ruling was made in this case that consumers must buy products directly from an alleged monopolist to have a case for damages against them.
Microsoft has asked Judge J Frederick Motz to either dismiss or make a summary ruling in its favour on a total of 62 class action cases, most of which have been amalgamated into a single complaint.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said that a number of class action lawsuits, from individuals and groups who feel they have been overcharged, have already been dismissed.
Most of these private actions were filed after the landmark decision by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft was a monopoly in the PC operating system market and that it violated antitrust laws. He ruled that Microsoft should be split into separate operating system and applications companies.
The US Supreme Court will decide in autumn whether to hear Microsoft's appeal or send it to the Court of Appeals first, which the software giant would prefer.
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