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Message subject : judge throws out Microsoft consumer suit

This message was posted by . on June 19, 2000 :

A Nevada judge tossed on Monday out a class action suit against Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) alleging that the software giant bilked consumers by charging too much for its Windows software.

Judge Gene Porter in the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas granted the Redmond, Wash.-based company's motion to dismiss the case, Microsoft said.

The court win is the second on the issue for Microsoft after a judge in Oregon ruled last week that consumers there could not sue the Redmond, Wash.-based company over software they did not buy from it directly.

Microsoft has no direct sales operations, selling its products instead to retailers or computer makers who pre-install it on their machines. Those customers usually sign long-term, high-volume deals with Microsoft.

Microsoft said the decision would give it ammunition to battle many of the more than 130 similar class action suits that have been brought against it in dozens of states.

Those lawsuits have been filed amid the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft, which a federal judge ordered broken in two to prevent it from further abusing its monopoly power in PC operating systems.

``We certainly believe this is good sign and important momentum to sort of putting these issues to rest,'' Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said. ``We certainly think it's going to affect a good number of these cases.''

Shares in Microsoft rose 1-1/8 to 73-11/16 in trading on the Nasdaq on Monday. It's 52-week range is 119-15/16 to 60-3/8.

The company also won another round in its battle against the Justice Department on Monday when an appeals court agreed to consider freezing the lower court's order that forces changes in the way Microsoft does business.

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