Canada Sets Precedence in Class-action Lawsuit Over Microsoft Abuses; Gates Still Uses Money for Influence
Summary: Canadians demand compensation after Microsoft illegally removed competition, but those Canadians may not know just how deep Bill Gates is inside their government
Microsoft Corp. plans to appeal a British Columbia court decision that certified a class-action lawsuit alleging the computer giant illegally got rid of its competition, then raised its prices.
In a ruling released this week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliott Myers certified the action on behalf of “all persons in British Columbia who, on or after Jan. 1, 1994, indirectly acquired a licence for Microsoft operating systems and/or Microsoft applications software for their own use.”
That covers pretty well everyone who bought a personal computer, or Microsoft Word or Exel, in the province since 1994, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, J.J. Camp, of Camp Fiorante Matthews, said in an interview. That includes governments as well as banks and other organizations that would have bought thousands of computers, he said. “It’s a very substantial number.”
A British Columbia judge has certified a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft that could affect hundreds of thousands of people who have bought personal computers containing Microsoft software over the past 16 years.
The representative plaintiffs — a small Richmond, B.C., computer-consultant company named Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd., and a Vancouver engineer named Neil Godfrey — allege that the software giant engaged in predatory, “anti-competitive” activity in virtually wiping out the competition.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – A British Columbia judge has certified a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft that alleges the software giant engaged in anti-competitive behaviour that enabled it to charge higher prices for its products.
Justice E.M. Meyers concluded in a ruling released Monday that Vancouver-based Pro-Sys Consultants, which is leading the plaintiffs in the case, has met requirements for certification for the lawsuit to proceed as a class action.
The legal action against Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was launched in 2006 on behalf of a number of indirect purchasers who acquired Microsoft software from resellers and from those who had Microsoft software pre-installed on their computers.
They argue they were forced to pay more for the software component of their purchase as a result of Microsoft’s anti-competitive actions.
Pro-Sys alleges that the indirect sellers suffered harm from paying prices that were artificially inflated by anti-competitive behaviour.
“This could be the start of cases like the ones the States,” says Chips B. Malroy. “Imagine how many countries, and or class action lawsuits there could be around the world wanting to happen,” he adds.
A Canadian GNU/Linux enthusiast wrote:
I love it. I tried to get the Competition Bureau to act years ago but they declined in deference to the US DOJ. Why surrender sovereignty?
What a lot of Canadians may not know is that Bill Gates invests over $1.5 billion in the Canadian government (it buys him influence). Too many people think that Gates is benign because of that foundation he set up to manage his money, conveniently forgetting Gates' long past of criminal activity. Will Hutton even published the following shocking article where he helps whitewash by claiming that Gates is among the ‘clean’ figures in the list of rich people.
Sixty-two of the 1,011 are Russian oligarchs. Twenty eight are Turkish oligarchs. Even Carlos Slim made his fortune from being the monopolist who controls 90% of Mexico’s telephone landlines and 80% of its mobile phone subscribers. The OECD notes that he charges among the highest usage fees in the world. But hey! He is a billionaire and what matters today are his riches – not the manner in which the money is made. He may have started out as a productive entrepreneur. Today he is using his power to expropriate wealth on a mega scale.
The contrast with his rival Bill Gates could hardly be greater. Microsoft may have had its head-to-head confrontation with the EU Commission over anti-competitive practices, but Gates built his company by innovating around one of the great historic general purpose technologies. Information and communication technology is like the railway, internal combustion engine or air travel – a technology with massive spill-overs and implications for society. It is a classic example of productive entrepreneurship. Gates may not deserve $53bn, he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time with a great university system around him, but he undoubtedly deserves to be rich. Both Gates and Slim are exploiting their market position to get above average profits, but one is more overtly political than the other. Put another way, Gates has grown the economic pie. Slim represents a tax on it.
This is ridiculous. It’s based on the assumption that Microsoft invented computing rather than crippled progress in computing. It merely reiterates PR campaigns and endless lies because anyone with a clue about history knows that Microsoft was taking other people’s ideas — sometimes illegally — and then breaking the law to destroy a once-competitive market, putting instead low-quality and overpriced software while bullying anyone who disagrees in all sorts of creative ways. This is more like a cartel and the reaction to competition includes racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and costs a lot more than crimes of the Russian mafia. The United States government finds him guilty, but one person who posts an article in the Observer/Guardian decides that he knows better. Hasn’t the Guardian done enough Microsoft PR already [1, 2, 3, 4]? █
“The advance planning and sense stimuli employed to capture a $10 million cigarette or soap market are nothing compared to the brainwashing and propaganda blitzes used to ensure control of the largest cash market in the world: the Executive Branch of the United States Government.”