UK firm, Datel, is suing Microsoft over its recent decision to render all “unauthorised memory units,” useless. The antitrust lawsuit, which is being handled by San Francisco-based law firm – Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin (catchy) – is aiming to restore competition and respond to consumer demand.
Datel founder – Mike Connors – has said that their brand of memory cards have sold over 50,000 units without a “single report of harm to the Xbox console,” adding that Microsoft’s equivalent “does exactly the same thing—with the difference that it offers only one-quarter the memory while listing for the same retail price.”
Datel’s Max Memory cards are available in either 2 or 4GB with the former having a SRP of $39.99 whilst MS’s 512mb version (originally retailing for $59.99) has the same price tag.
Marty Glick – Howard Rice Director and senior attorney on the case – has stated:
Microsoft has taken steps to render inoperable the competing Datel memory card for no visible purpose other than to have that market entirely to themselves. They accomplished their recent update by making a system change that will not recognize or allow operation of a memory card with greater capacity than their own. We believe that with the power Microsoft enjoys in the market for Xbox accessories this conduct is unlawful.
The Antitrust Law is there to ensure that the manufacturer of a product doesn’t have a stranglehold over the consumer and that their right to choose hasn’t been affected; as such, Microsoft’s recent ‘update’ is being seen as “predatory conduct”. If you so wish, you can view Datel’s complaint here.