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IT-Director: Microsoft in more trouble

Sep 05, 2000, 16:54 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by March Hare)


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"The 1998 trial jury dismissed many of the complaints brought by Bristol Technologies against Microsoft but found that Bristol had suffered an ascertainable loss to its business from Microsoft's "deceptive act or practice". However, the jury was not happy with Bristol's attempts to quantify its losses and warded only nominal damages of $1. It was this award that Bristol Technologies appealed against and, on Friday, Bristol won its appeal to the tune of $1 million punitive damages."

"Moreover, Judge Janet Hall added quite a few harsh words in delivering her verdict. To the word "deceptive" used to describe Microsoft's "act or practice" in the first trial, she added "wanton and reckless". This was based on her opinion that Microsoft Executives had not testified truthfully in the earlier trial, backed by discovery of an internal Microsoft email emanating from none other than Bill Gates. Gates allegedly used harsh language to describe the probable effect of Microsoft's conduct on Bristol Technologies."

"Before the verdict of the Anti-Trust action was known, commentators were predicting that if it went against Microsoft it could open the floodgates to a raft of law suits against the company. That said, Microsoft still has more money to fight legal actions than its competitors and Americans have traditionally been more accepting of marginal business tactics by its commercial giants than many other nations. The assertion that we shouldn't be afraid of size and success is better appreciated in the USA than elsewhere."

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