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AOL Time Warner Files Anti-Trust Suit against MS 949

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-didn't-see-that-coming dept.
ChazeFroy writes "This article at the Washington Post says that AOL Time Warner has filed a suit against Microsoft seeking damages from anti-competitive practices over the Netscape browser." Can't say I'm surprised.
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AOL Time Warner Files Anti-Trust Suit against MS

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  • by Brian Knotts (855) <bknotts@nOsPAM.cascadeaccess.com> on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @04:39PM (#2884181)
    You are confusing criminal and civil law.

    All of these cases are civil cases.

  • Re:Hipocritical (Score:5, Informative)

    by xX_sticky_Xx (526967) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @04:49PM (#2884288) Homepage Journal
    [H}ow many viable magazines/cable channels/ISP/Movie Studios etc are there besides AOL TW...hmm, I don't have enough time to count.

    The answer to your question is 5.

    6 media conglomerates [thirdworldtraveler.com]own just about every major media and entertainment product in the US.
  • by gorsh (75930) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @04:52PM (#2884315)
    Here's the correct link to the Fortune article - in essence, AOLTW saw $155 billion in market cap evaporate after the merger.

    http://www.fortune.com/articles/2002/magazine/2002 0204/206105.html [fortune.com]
  • by pgrote (68235) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @05:03PM (#2884418) Homepage
    Yep, that is billion with a B. Do you think that the timing of the lawsuit against Microsoft had anything to do with the fact the press is catching onto the mistakes AOL has made during the merger.

    According to Fortune, "Instead of adding up to the world's most valuable company, this merger has subtracted $155 billion of market cap. CEO-designate Richard Parsons promises to do the numbers a different way."

    Link is at: http://www.fortune.com/articles/2002/magazine/2002 0204/206105.html
  • by nedwidek (98930) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @05:26PM (#2884595)
    Actually in civil cases each claimant can bring separate suits for their individual damages. AOL can bring suit for antitrust damages related to Netscape, IBM could bring suit for antitrust damages related to OS/2 (*Example only here*).

    This is why we have class action suits. They keep the courts from being flooded with a few thousand lawsuits because XYZ credit card company screwed their card holders. Each card holder affected could bring their own suit so the judge may opt to nip it by making it a class action.

  • Re:Hipocritical (Score:1, Informative)

    by Popoi (310376) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @06:05PM (#2884870)
    Oligopoly [dictionary.com]
  • by invenustus (56481) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @06:12PM (#2884913)
    Or you could read The Antitrust Terrible 10: Why the Most Reviled "Anti-competitive" Business Practices Can Benefit Consumers in the New Economy [cato.org]. Note that the 8th section in the PDF deals specifically with tying and bundling. Enjoy!
  • by pressman (182919) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @07:33PM (#2885384) Homepage
    Wow! How old is the crowd reading this? Doesn't anyone remember that Netscape used to have the best browser out there and that they actually charged money for it? Until M$ figured out the only way they could be top dog in the browser market was that they had to give it away for free and develop it using profits from Windows and Office, a company could actually SELL A BROWSER FOR MONEY!

    Once a big chunk of their revenue stream was taken away, the quality of the browser really began to suffer. Tack on the fact that M$ had some licensing agreements with many PC OEM's requiring them to NOT SHIP Netscape on PC's as well as their weird proprietary tags (not that NS didn't have a few as well) and you have a recipe for NS' demise.

    Hell! M$ even courted major entertainment sites and encouraged them to develop their sites so that they could ONLY be viewed with IE for Windows! I'm a Mac user and years ago I used only Netscape and I couldn't even access the star trek website. Totally unsupported for Netscape and the lack of Mac support was just rubbing salt in the wounds.

    M$ needs to pay for this reckless disregard for consumer choice and if AOL/TW wants to use their own money to fight this battle, I'm fine with that. The US government , since Bush was appointed president, has shown that they no longer have the cojones to do what is right and just.
  • Netscape? (Score:2, Informative)

    by avalys (221114) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @07:55PM (#2885451)
    CNNfn is reporting [cnn.com] that it is Netscape doing the suing, not all of AOLTW.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Shade, The (252176) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @08:09PM (#2885506) Homepage
    Doesn't AOL have a contract with IE to provide there browser? This was agreed upon /before/ AOL bought netscape, so until the contract is up, AOL /have/ to use IE as their browser.
  • by SpinyNorman (33776) on Tuesday January 22, 2002 @08:38PM (#2885617)
    IANAL, but AFAIK companies are in general NOT free to to sell products below cost or give them away for free - that's called dumping, and is illegal.

    I think the only reason the games consoles can do it is because it's part of a viable and LEGAL business model - razor and razorblades, not an attempt to use your deeper pockets to put a rival out of business as Microsoft did to Netscape.
  • by decefett (127257) <scott@@@favelle...com> on Wednesday January 23, 2002 @12:12AM (#2886383) Homepage
    Comparisons with Apache are not appropriate, MS did not (and still does not) enjoy a monopoly in the server marker. NT comming bundled IIS has little effect on Apache (or iPlanet), if the majority of servers ran NT it would be different.

    If you do look at the NT market IIS *has* pushed other competators out. Apache on NT for example is mainly used as a development platform before deploying on *nix.

    In the findings of fact it was found that MS witheld API's from Netscape, API's that made IIS run faster on NT than Netscape's server. Netscape's business model was a razor/blades one. Make little money from the browser (free for personal use, $$$ for corporates) and sell the server. Bundling IIS with NT kept Netscape out of that market, bundling IE on the desktop made it make less sense use Netscape's Server as it would be talking to MS's browser.

    I'm not saying Netscape was a saint or didn't make plenty of it's own screw ups but MS did leverage their monopoly on the desktop against Netscape's browser and did hide API's on NT to keep Netscape's server out of the NT market. The case against MS is that it used it monopoly in one area to extend into another, that is illegal.

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