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Others Could Join RealNetworks In Microsoft Suit

RealNetworks Inc. may not be alone for too long in its antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.

The Seattle-based company sued Microsoft Thursday in federal court in San Jose, Calif., claiming the software giant is illegally using its Windows monopoly to dominate the digital media market. RealNetworks is seeking damages that could exceed a billion dollars, in addition to a court order preventing future illegal conduct from the Redmond, Wash.-based, Microsoft.

While RealNetworks is the only plaintiff in the suit, experts say it could be helped later by other companies with similar concerns within their own markets.

"(The lawsuit) is forming a boilerplate for others to come in," Richard Doherty, research director at The Envisioneering Group in Seaford, New York, said.

While declining to name the companies, Doherty said a DVD authoring company, a maker of professional editing tools and others have discussed the possibility of assisting RealNetworks in its suit. "They don't want to go on the record at this point, but they might yet help Real," Doherty said.

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