Is Microsoft Guilty of Violating Calif. Predatory Pricing Law?

California’s Unfair Practices Act received its share of criticism after a state appellate court upheld a $21 million judgment against SF Weekly last month.

Seattle Weekly editor Mark Fefer chimes in and asks whether, based on the wording of the law and the court’s written decision, companies such as Microsoft and Facebook could also be found guilty of violating the law:

By this logic, SF-based Facebook engaged in illegal conduct when it started up its free social-networking service, thereby causing irreparable harm to fee-charging, which had been in business for years.

Fefer also says that Microsoft’s plans to release its own smartphone, Windows Phone 7, could be considered a violation of the law since “the company will take a loss on the product for years–in an effort to chip away at two California-based companies: Apple and Google.”

For the uninitiated, both Seattle Weekly and SF Weekly are owned by Village Voice Media.

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