Microsoft sued for abusing monopoly power |

Microsoft sued for abusing monopoly power

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In the first of a potential wave of legal actions against Microsoft Corp., a small advertising company sued the software maker for allegedly abusing its monopoly power to overcharge for its Windows 98 program.

The filing by Seastrom Associates Ltd. in state Supreme Court in lower Manhattan late Monday is the first to follow a federal judge’s harsh finding against Microsoft Friday, and seeks class-action status to represent many thousands of New York state customers.

Such legal threats, which ultimately could seek billions of dollars in damages, are likely to increase pressure on Microsoft to reach a settlement with the government, an outcome that could lessen the prospect of costly suits.