Court Continues Microsoft-Novell Antitrust Case
Two antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
Two antitrust claims brought against Microsoft Corp. by Novell Inc. can proceed,
a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by U.S.
District Judge J. Frederick Motz of Baltimore dismissing four of Novell's six
claims but keeping the other two alive.
Novell alleges Microsoft used its monopoly power to limit sales of WordPerfect,
a word-processing program, and Quattro Pro, a spreadsheet program.
The appellate court agreed with the lower court that the four claims that were
dismissed were filed after the statute of limitations expired.
The other two claims are not subject to the same deadline because they were
based on anticompetitive conduct alleged in a Department of Justice complaint,
the appeals court said.
"Taking Novell's allegations as true, as we must, the injury that Novell
alleges here is plainly an injury to competition that the antitrust laws were
intended to forestall," appeals court Judge Allyson Duncan wrote in an
opinion joined by Judge Dennis Shedd.
Judge H. Emory Widener Jr. also heard the arguments in the case but died before
the panel filed its decision.
Novell's two remaining claims allege:
- Microsoft unlawfully "obtained and maintained its monopoly power in
the Intel-compatible operating systems market by engaging in anticompetitive
- Microsoft engaged in exclusionary agreements with manufacturers that amounted
to unreasonable restraint of trade.
Novell, which sold WordPerfect and Quattro Pro to Corel in 1996, previously
reached a $536 million settlement with Microsoft on antitrust claims involving
its NetWare operating system.