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An English court has confirmed Microsoft’s contractual right to audit software reseller ValueLicensing but imposed undertakings on the tech giant preventing it from using the information to defend against a €270 million standalone damages claim.

Law360, London (December 5, 2023, 5:37 PM GMT) -- A software reseller can't block Microsoft from auditing its records, a London court ruled on Tuesday, rejecting the case that the tech giant would misuse the information to counter its looming £270 million ($341 million) antitrust claim.

The parties are to conduct disclosure searches in accordance with the agreed or ordered searches.

ValueLicensing must allow Microsoft to audit the carrying out of a settlement arising from a software copyright infringement dispute, even as the software reseller is engaged in a dominance-abuse lawsuit against the US tech giant over anticompetitive licensing deals, a UK High Court judge ruled today. He said the case is a contractual matter on its own terms, even as the parties are involved in proceedings over damages litigation.

Software reseller ValueLicensing has likened Microsoft’s second attempt to split a €270 million standalone damages claim into separate trials to “Groundhog Day”.