Supreme Court Rejects Appeal In Best Buy, Microsoft Racketeering Lawsuit

The Supreme Court has rejected Microsoft and Best Buy’s appeal in the MSN racketeering lawsuit, says the Wall Street Journal, thus “ending a bid by the two companies to stop a class-action lawsuit over a joint marketing campaign for MSN Internet Access service.”

The so-called marketing campaign involved (allegedly) signing hapless Best Buy customers up for MSN accounts. Microsoft is accused of paying Best Buy to collect and use customer’s credit card information without their permission, signing them up for “free trials” of MSN that they didn’t want and or weren’t aware existed. When the free trial period was up, MSN began to bill them without their knowledge or consent.

The lawsuit alleges that the marketing agreement between Best Buy and Microsoft qualifies as an “enterprise” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. From the WSJ:

“The rule in effect would make a broad range of routine corporate conduct actionable under RICO,” the companies said in the appeal. “This dramatic increase in potential corporate RICO liability with its draconian remedies warrants review.”

The case will now be sent back down to the lower courts.

Supreme Court Rejects Microsoft, Best Buy Appeal in Fraud Lawsuit [WSJ](Thanks, Bob!)

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