Judge Denies Microsoft Request To Move RealNetworks Antitrust Case

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., had argued that the case filed by Seattle rival RealNetworks should be moved to Washington state because both companies are based there.

But U.S. District Judge James Ware said in a filing Thursday that it was appropriate to keep the case in California, in part because many big players in the digital media industry are located there.

RealNetworks had said it originally filed the case in California because it thought it would be more convenient for potential witnesses who are based there.

In December, RealNetworks accused Microsoft of illegally monopolizing the field of digital media by requiring users of Microsoft's Windows computer operating system to accept the company's media player, renewing a long debate over Microsoft's behavior toward competitors.

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Microsoft has said its conduct in breaking into the digital media field "constitutes permissible competitive activity," and has accused rival RealNetworks of using an antitrust lawsuit to gain market share.

Microsoft spokeswoman Stacey Drake said the company was disappointed by the Ware's ruling and has not yet decided if it will appeal.

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