RealNetworks files antitrust suit against Microsoft

Streaming media provider RealNetworks on Thursday sued Microsoft on antitrust charges, accusing the software giant of illegally using its Windows monopoly to limit consumer choice in digital media.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif., alleges that Microsoft has "pursued a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years...resulting in substantial lost revenue and business for RealNetworks," according to a statement from RealNetworks. The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft has wielded its "monopoly power to restrict how PC makers install competing media players while forcing every Windows user to take Microsoft's media player, whether they want it or not."

According to Bob Kimball, RealNetworks vice president and general counsel, "Our case is based on many of the same types of Microsoft conduct that have already declared to be illegal--such as failure to disclose interface information and imposing restrictions on PC makers--as well as a broad course of additional predatory conduct." In a conference call with reporters, Kimball said RealNetworks would seek as much as $1 billion in damages due to lost business stemming from Microsoft's actions. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent "further illegal conduct" by Microsoft.

News source: C|Net News.com

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