I wonder how many people are surpised by this. Given Microsoft’s
penchant for anti-competitive activities in the past, it’s entirely
within reality to expect them to start resorting to stuff like this.

This sort of thing by Microsoft is going to do a lot for the free
distributions of Linux

Best Buy Face Racketeering Suit

15 judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have unanimously
reversed dismissal of a RICO class action suit against Microsoft and
Best Buy, which claims the companies engaged in fraud in promoting
Microsoft’s MSN online service. (RICO is a statute originally intended
to help prosecutors go after organized crime.) Quoting: "The case
started after James Odom bought a PC-based laptop at a Contra Costa
County Best Buy store. Data about the purchase was sent to Microsoft
as part of a joint marketing agreement between the companies.
Microsoft then signed Mr. Odom up for its MSN Internet service and,
after a free trial period, began billing him for it." Howard Bashman’s
How Appealing blog has more details on the reversal, including a
paraphrase from one of the appellate judges that "all blame rests with
the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing the ‘outlandish’ result that a
claim such as this can be pursued under RICO."

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