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Microsoft faces another antitrust suit

It never rains but it pours

A computer services and hardware retailer has filed a US federal civil suit accusing Microsoft of continuing to violate antitrust laws.

Tangent Computer of Burlingame, California, alleged in a 14 February court filing that Microsoft employs practices "to prevent and destroy competition" while raising prices of its software to "supra-competitive levels". The tactics amount to a violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act, the US federal law that prohibits monopolies and unfair competition, Tangent said.

The suit, filed in US District Court of Northern California, asks for damages to be determined by a jury trial.

Tangent makes desktop computers, notebooks, servers and thin clients for education and government institutions in addition to companies, the filing said. Tangent's website says it is a Microsoft Certified Partner, meaning it has participated in a wide-ranging Microsoft program that offers education and incentives for businesses that sell or use its products.

The court filing goes through an extensive history of Microsoft's competitive practices from the 1980s through the present. It accuses Microsoft most recently of pushing its own DRM (digital rights management) formats that favour its Media Player, further entrenching the use of its own OS.


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