Monday, March 22, 2004

Antitrust News: Money for Nothing II

Consider this report by Kevin O'Hanlon of the Associated Press:

A divided Nebraska Supreme Court revived a class-action lawsuit Friday alleging that Microsoft Corp. violated the state's consumer-protection laws by engaging in monopolistic behavior.

The high court ruled 4-3 in favor of two Nebraskans who sued the software giant in 2001. They allege that Microsoft used its monopoly in computer operating systems to overcharge people for its widely used Windows 98 software.

The lawsuit is one of scores nationwide stemming from the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust action against Microsoft, which the company has settled. . .

. . . Last year, Microsoft agreed to settle class-action antitrust lawsuits brought by customers in five states and the District of Columbia by issuing vouchers worth $200 million.

In all, Microsoft has settled similar lawsuits in at least nine states and Washington, D.C., for a total of $1.55 billion.
$1.55 billion? This is a looters paradise. Yet when the undeserving get the unearned as a matter of right and the businessmen/victims consider it the inevitable cost of doing business, it then falls to the secondary victims—those who benefit from their unshackled relationship with businessmen—to stand up for their rights.

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