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The UK's High court last week heard Microsoft's plea to strike out a lawsuit one of its resellers filed last year over alleged anti-competitive practices. UK-based ValueLicensing says Microsoft is trying to kill off the pre-owned software market.

Microsoft's attempts to have a 2021 lawsuit's claims regarding anti-competitive practices struck out were this week contested in UK courts.

Microsoft’s U.K. arm knowingly implemented company selling practices that violated competition law, and U.K. courts are the right venue to hear the claims, counsel leading a £270 million ($355 million) lawsuit against the company told a London judge Thursday, after the U.S. company sought to strike out parts of a market abuse claim.

“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.