US Court of appeals 4th Circuit – Opinion 042566

This appeal, a part of the multidistrict class action antitrust litigation brought against Microsoft Corporation by 39 purchasers of Microsoft’s operating system software and applications software, presents the question whether 26 indirect purchasers have stated a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The district court granted Microsoft’s motion to dismiss their claims, concluding that because these 26 plaintiffs did not buy software directly from Microsoft, they were indirect purchasers who were barred from seeking recovery for illegal pass-through overcharges under the principles of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720
(1977). The court also found that they lacked standing to seek recovery for certain types of injury because the alleged injury did not constitute “antitrust injury,” was speculative, or was generalized and not specific to the plaintiffs. The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ equitable claims under the doctrine of laches.

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