DESCRIPTION OF THE LITIGATION
MDL 1332 was assigned to the District of Maryland by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 26, 2000. It involves private antitrust litigation instituted by various parties against Microsoft Corporation in the wake of the antitrust enforcement action instituted against Microsoft by the United States Department of Justice. On November 1, 2002, the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion approving the majority of Microsoft’s antitrust settlement with the Justice Department. Judge Kollar-Kotelly also rejected arguments by nine dissenting states that Microsoft needed to be subject to additional sanctions.
The cases originally included in MDL 1332 were instituted by consumers who contend that they overpaid for various products as a result of Microsoft’s alleged antitrust violations. Some of the cases were brought under the federal antitrust laws and were originally instituted in federal district courts; others assert claims under state antitrust and consumer protection statutes and were removed by Microsoft to federal court. There are a number of similar cases still pending in various state courts because of the absence of any basis for federal removal jurisdiction.
During 2002, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued orders in MDL 1332 transferring to this court four additional cases brought against Microsoft by four of its business competitors: Be, Incorporated, Burst.com, Inc., Netscape Communications, Inc., and Sun Microsystems, Inc. These plaintiffs assert that they suffered injury as the result of Microsoft’s alleged violations of the antitrust laws.