“Since 2016 Microsoft has been effectively removing the licences from the market using what we describe as ‘anti-resale terms’,” ValueLicensing founder Jonathan Horley says. “Microsoft was draining the entire market of these perpetual licences and these are billions of pounds worth of licences, which should have been competing with Microsoft [Office 365] and give consumers more choice and cost-saving options.”
Charley Connor spoke to Jonathan Horley, the start-up’s founder and managing director, about what drove him to file the claim and how he believes Microsoft has used anticompetitive contractual clauses and discounts to stop its business customers from reselling licences to use its desktop software.
ValueLicensing's High Court damages claim against Microsoft Corp, Microsoft Limited and Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited has been backed by litigation funding from a primary funder, after ValueLicensing self-funded the preparation and filing of the Claim earlier this year.
Litigation funders finance the costs of the proceedings which in England can run into significant sums, in return for a pre-agreed amount of damages if the Claim is successful.
Jonathan Horley told CRN that these, and other, measures meant the "cupboard was bare" for businesses like ValueLicensing, which sells to both private and public sector organisations, at a time when business should have been booming.