Microsoft Wants RealNetworks Lawsuit Moved

It has asked a California judge to shift the suit from San Jose to Washington state, where both companies are located.
Microsoft has asked a California judge to shift the site of an antitrust lawsuit filed by local rival RealNetworks to Washington state from San Jose, Calif.

RealNetworks, based in Seattle, last month filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft for more than $1 billion, claiming that nearby Microsoft is illegally using its monopolist position with Windows to squeeze out competition in the digital media market.

Microsoft has requested the change of venue, it said Thursday, because "for both parties, the trial would be considerably less burdensome to their employees and less disruptive of their businesses if held in Seattle rather than San Jose."

San Jose, the location of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District for California, is in the heart of Silicon Valley, where Microsoft competitors such as Sun Microsystems and Oracle are headquartered.

"Many of Microsoft's fiercest competitors are based in Silicon Valley," Microsoft said in the court filing. "For this reason, RealNetworks likely perceives the jury pool in this district to be the most hostile to Microsoft of any jury pool in the country."

RealNetworks will contest the change. A hearing on the request is scheduled for March 1.

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