A judge has denied Microsoft's request to move an antitrust lawsuit brought against it by RealNetworks from California to Washington state.
"RealNetworks has satisfied this Court that important and considerable evidence on this issue is concentrated in the Northern District of California," the judge said.
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Last December, RealNetworks asserted that Microsoft has illegally used its monopoly powers to control the digital media market. RealNetworks is seeking damages that could exceed $1bn.
In a motion heard on 1 March, Microsoft had requested that the trial be moved to Washington state, where the trial would be "considerably less burdensome" to the employees of both companies as well as "less disruptive of their businesses". RealNetworks countered that numerous third-party witnesses it intends to call are based in California, justifying the location of the trial.
"RealNetworks has identified numerous companies in this district who allegedly have been directly impacted by Microsoft’s anticompetitive conduct. Therefore, California has a more substantial interest in adjudicating this case," the judge wrote.
Potential witnesses identified in the ruling include Acer, Apple, eMachines, Fujitsu America, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba America Information Systems, Sun Microsystems, Limelight Networks, Cnet Networks, Sony Online Entertainment, Yahoo, Warner Bros. Entertainment, DreamWorks and Walt Disney.
Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service