Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Indirect Purchaser Suit against Microsoft Under South Carolina Law Cannot Proceed

BNA's Class Action Litigation Report is reporting that in a putative indirect purchaser class action against Microsoft under South Carolina law was dismissed on Nov. 2 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (In re Microsoft Corp. Antitrust Litigation, D. Md., No. MDL 1332, 11/2/05; Mark v. Microsoft Corp., D. Md., No. JFM-05-1608, 11/2/05):

"Judge J. Frederick Motz, who is handling nationwide federal multidistrict antitrust litigation against Microsoft, dismissed the state antitrust claims because he 'has no reason to disagree' with a prior district court decision finding that South Carolina has adopted the federal rule enunciated in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720 (1977), 'that indirect purchasers cannot recover under state antitrust laws,' In re Wiring Device Antitrust Litigation, 498 F. Supp. 79, 88 (E.D.N.Y. 1980)." BNA's Class Action Litigation Report, Volume 06, Number 22, November 25, 2005, Page 817.

Plaintiffs in the case had attempted to style their claim as one for unjust enrichment under South Carolina general common law. That effort was rejected as an attempt to get around the limits imposed by Illinois Brick and embraced by South Carolina.


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