Report: Microsoft faces class-action suit

Three veteran class-action lawyers plan to file a lawsuit today in California against Microsoft in what could be the first in a flurry of such actions now that a federal judge has decided that the software maker is a monopoly, according to a report in the New York Times.

The lawsuit will allege that Microsoft used its operating-systems monopoly to charge users too much for Windows 95 and Windows 98, the Times reported. Lawyers Terry Gross and Francis Scarpulla of San Francisco and Daniel Mogin of San Diego will file the lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Francisco on behalf of millions of Windows users in that state, the newspaper said.

The lawyers are asking for triple damages in the event that they win a verdict against Microsoft, but the lawsuit will not estimate the financial effect borne by Windows users who allegedly were overcharged, the Times said.

After Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued findings of fact in the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, some legal experts predicted that his finding that the software maker is a monopoly would lead to a barrage of additional lawsuits. Others have said they doubt that will happen and that the number of suits filed will be small, though still potentially damaging to Microsoft.

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