Netscape takes on Microsoft

Netscape, a subsidiary of media giant AOL Time Warner, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging anticompetitive practices related to the Windows operating system.

Netscape, a subsidiary of media giant AOL Time Warner, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging anticompetitive practices related to the Windows operating system.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, according to a statement from Netscape. Best known for its Netscape Navigator Web browser, Netscape was acquired by America Online Inc. in 1999. AOL in turn merged with Time Warner Inc. last year.

Microsoft's illegal anticompetitive practices were confirmed in a ruling by a federal district court in June 2000 and upheld by a U.S. appeals court in June of last year. Netscape argued in its lawsuit Tuesday that those anticompetitive practices "resulted in harm to competition and antitrust injury to Netscape in particular," the company said in its statement.

The lawsuit is similar to the U.S. government's federal antitrust case against Microsoft, Netscape said. That case centered on a claim that Microsoft abused its monopoly power by cutting deals with PC manufacturers that ultimately hindered sales of Netscape Navigator. The U.S. Department of Justice and nine state attorneys general have reached a tentative settlement in the federal case, but nine other states and the District of Columbia have refused to sign off on the deal and continue to pursue legal action against Microsoft.

Netscape is seeking an injunction against Microsoft and an award of "treble damages," a type of award given in a private antitrust case that would be equal to three times any damages set by a court. The value of the damages and any Microsoft products that might be enjoined from shipping as a result of the suit would be determined by a federal judge, the company said.

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