March 8, 2002 2:50 PM PST

Excerpts from Sun's suit against Microsoft

Sun Microsystems filed a private antitrust suit against Microsoft on Friday. The suit, which seeks damages that could top $1 billion, leans heavily on last year's determination by a federal judge that Microsoft used its monopoly in the operating system market to thwart competition in other markets.

see related story: FAQ: What Sun wants in its suit against Microsoft Following are excerpts from Sun's lawsuit:

"Sun brings this action to restore competition in the markets in which Microsoft restrains competition by means of its monopoly power (and) to remedy the continuing harm that Sun has suffered as a result of Microsoft's illegal maintenance of monopolies over the PC operating system, Web browser, and office productivity suite markets, its unlawful attempt to monopolize the workgroup server market, and its unlawful exclusive dealing and tying practices. Such harm to Sun includes...diminished licensing fees, lost computer workstation sales, lost server sales, lost software product sales, lost sales of consulting services, and a diminution in value to Sun's trademarks, reputation, and goodwill."


"If left unchecked to exploit the power of its monopoly position, Microsoft intends to use the .Net Framework to move its current monopoly in the PC operating system market into a more expansive and potentially more dangerous monopoly that encompasses software development on every computing device connected to the network."


"By offering consumers the ability to run compelling applications on operating systems other than Microsoft's Windows...the (Netscape) Navigator browser and Java platform threatened to reduce or eliminate the applications barrier to competition that sustains Microsoft's monopoly...By eliminating the ability of alternative platforms to compete with Microsoft's Windows operating system, Microsoft not only illegally maintained its monopoly, but it also dramatically increased the economic power derived from that monopoly, such that Microsoft now has the power to control competition in a number of adjacent markets, including the Web browser market, the workgroup server operating system market, the Web server market, the middleware runtime market, and the office productivity market."


"By illegally crushing the threat posed by the Navigator and Java middleware platforms, Microsoft bought itself years of time to copy the functionality of the Java platform."


"Just as it developed the Windows platform on top of MS-DOS in order to encourage developers to write to the new platform, Microsoft now will provide the .Net platform as a middleware layer on top of Windows, and encourage developers increasingly to write their applications to this new platform, gradually obsolescing the Windows platform and transferring Microsoft's monopoly from the PC operating system to this new middleware layer. Microsoft hopes then to use its ill-gotten .Net market share to dominate the increasingly important realm of server-based computing, a realm that currently poses the greatest threat to Microsoft's PC hegemony."


"By secretly manipulating the interfaces and protocols needed to interoperate with Windows, Microsoft can control which products and services in adjacent markets are capable of interoperating with PCs...Instead of permitting consumers to choose a server, telephone, application, or Web service based solely on its competitive merits, Microsoft is increasingly forcing consumers to purchase such products and services based on their ability to interoperate with its unlawfully monopolized platforms."


"Microsoft bundled critical networking functions and features into its PC operating system products, but then designed those features so that customers cannot fully use that functionality unless they also purchase Microsoft's workgroup server operating systems."


"Once Microsoft dominates the Web server market, it will be able to force the adoption of protocols and interfaces that can be accessed using only client-side Microsoft-specific technology."


"Although Microsoft has not yet obtained substantial market share for its .Net Framework, Microsoft has announced that it intends to eventually bundle the .Net Runtime with its workgroup server operating system and PC operating system. Once Microsoft bundles its .Net Framework with its operating system products, it will achieve rapid distribution and massive installed market share."


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