RealNetworks Sues Microsoft

Not directly .NET related, but big big news. What a way to end the year.

Associated Press : RealNetworks Sues Microsoft Over Antitrust
Microsoft Corp. was hit Thursday with yet another antitrust lawsuit, this one accusing the software giant of illegally monopolizing the growing field of digital music and video. RealNetworks Inc. said Microsoft illegally tied its Windows Media Player software with copies of the ubiquitous Windows operating system, whether Windows users want Microsoft's player or not.

CNET : Microsoft's antitrust saga continues
Here we go again. Just when you thought Microsoft might have been nearing the end of a long series of antitrust suits, another one surfaces with RealNetworks' accusation that the software giant illegally used its Windows monopoly to limit consumer choice in digital media. That same monopoly has been at the root of lawsuits by the federal government, many of the states, the European Union and several private companies, including Sun Microsystems, Be, and Time Warner's Netscape subsidiary. Although most of the settlements have been largely favorable to Microsoft, the lawsuits soaked up resources and bandwidth, not to mention tarring the company as a monopolist.

CNET : It's all in the timing for Real
There's been little love lost between RealNetworks and Microsoft over the years, but analysts were still surprised Thursday to have the differences come to a head in an antitrust suit. Analysts said there were a number of reasons Real may have decided that now was the time to act, including the European Union's investigation of Microsoft. The focus of that investigation has included complaints about Windows Media Player that are similar to Real's accusations.

CNET : Real hits Microsoft with $1 billion antitrust suit
Streaming media provider RealNetworks on Thursday sued longtime nemesis Microsoft on antitrust charges, accusing the software giant of illegally using its Windows monopoly to hurt digital media rivals. In the suit, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif., RealNetworks alleges that Microsoft has "pursued a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years...resulting in substantial lost revenue and business for RealNetworks."

eWEEK : Microsoft Responds to Real Networks Suit
Faced with another private antitrust lawsuit, this time from digital media competitor Real Networks Inc., Microsoft Corp. late Thursday defended its position in the space. "There is vibrant competition in this marketplace and Real Networks' own reported growth shows that they have thrived on Windows and many other operating platforms," Microsoft said in a statement. 

Financial Times : Microsoft faces new antitrust battle
A new front in the Microsoft antitrust wars was opened on Thursday as rival software maker RealNetworks accused the company of illegally trying to monopolise the market for digital media software and said it would seek damages of more than $1bn. Microsoft said that the lawsuit was “unfortunate and particularly surprising given the intense competition in the digital media marketplace.” RealNetworks itself has “thrived on Windows”, it added, with computer manufacturers and consumers free to decide on which media players they want to install and use.

Financial Times : Antitrust suit piles pressure on Microsoft
RealNetworks, the streaming media group, yesterday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging the software giant had illegally used its market clout in an attempt to monopolise the field of digital media. The lawsuit, filed in a US federal court in San Jose, California, alleges Microsoft had pursued a "broad course of predatory conduct" over several years, resulting in substantial lost revenue for RealNetworks.

InfoWorld : Update: RealNetworks sues Microsoft, alleges monopoly abuse
RealNetworks Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp., alleging that the Redmond, Washington, software giant has illegally used its power as a monopoly to control the digital media market. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, California, claims that Microsoft has forced PC manufacturers to include Microsoft's media player while at the same time placing restrictions on how competing players may be installed, RealNetworks said in a statement released on Thursday.  

New York Times : RealNetworks Accuses Microsoft of Restricting Competition
RealNetworks filed a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit on Thursday accusing Microsoft of using its monopoly power to restrict competition and limit consumer choice in digital media markets. Legal experts said that the lawsuit, which cites new evidence suggesting that Microsoft's business practices have remained unchanged after its landmark court battle with the federal government, indicated that its legal woes were not necessarily over despite the company's accommodation with the Bush administration and its settlement of several other lawsuits. 

Reuters : RealNetworks Sues Microsoft Over Media Player
Internet media company RealNetworks Inc. said on Thursday it is suing longtime rival Microsoft Corp., accusing the software powerhouse of unfairly promoting its own software for playing audio and video on computers and over the Internet. In an antitrust complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, California, RealNetworks claimed that Microsoft "pursued a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years by abusing its monopoly power, resulting in substantial lost revenue and business for RealNetworks."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer : RealNetworks sues Microsoft
RealNetworks Inc., the Seattle-based software maker dogged by Microsoft Corp. throughout its 10-year life, yesterday filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against its nemesis, alleging that the Redmond company has tried to use its monopoly power in PC operating systems to unlawfully dominate the digital media market. In the suit, which could extend Microsoft's 13-year-long antitrust woes for at least three more years, RealNetworks is seeking $1 billion or more in damages and an injunction requiring changes in Microsoft's business practices. Barring a settlement, the jury trial will take place in the high-tech hub of San Jose, Calif. 

Seattle Times : RealNetworks files $1 billion antitrust suit against Microsoft
A regional rivalry turned into a nasty legal battle yesterday when RealNetworks filed a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming the software giant is still a predatory monopolist. RealNetworks alleges Microsoft is using the same tactics that crushed the Netscape browser in the 1990s to snuff competition in the market for digital media players, a core part of Seattle-based RealNetworks' business.

USA Today : Microsoft sued over media player
RealNetworks on Thursday accused Microsoft of anti-competitive tactics to restrict consumer choice in the PC media player market. In a civil lawsuit, RealNetworks (RNWK) says Microsoft (MSFT) illegally ties its Windows Media Player software to Microsoft's Windows operating system, putting RealNetworks' competing player at a disadvantage. The charges are similar to those being probed by European regulators.

Wall Street Journal : Microsoft Is Sued by RealNetworks
RealNetworks Inc. opened a new front in the long-running legal battle between Microsoft Corp. and its competitors, filing an antitrust lawsuit that alleges the software titan improperly used its dominance in the personal-computer software business to control the budding digital-media market. In the complaint, filed Thursday in federal court in San Jose, Calif., RealNetworks accuses Microsoft of illegally using its Windows operating system to hobble RealNetworks' position in the market for audio- and video-playback software for the PC. RealNetworks alleges that, among other things, Microsoft concealed valuable technical information that has hamstrung RealNetworks' ability to develop software. It also says Microsoft has entered into restrictive licensing agreements with PC makers that enabled it to broadly distribute its digital-media software, called Windows Media Player.

Washington Post : RealNetworks Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft
RealNetworks Inc., a pioneer in making software that allows computer users to download and play music and video from the Internet, sued Microsoft Corp. yesterday, claiming antitrust violations that have damaged RealNetworks' business. The Seattle firm charges that Microsoft is systematically forcing computer makers to give prominence to its own software, the Windows Media Player, in an effort to crush competition from the RealOne player.