EDINA, MN – In the ongoing Canadian litigation case of Pro Sys Consultants & Neil Godfrey v. Microsoft Corporation, Pro Sys Consultants has been granted an order that obligates two former Microsoft executives, Steve Ballmer and James Allchin, to participate in depositions. This order was granted after Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) made multiple motions to quash and for a protective order, but the Court (United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle) denied the motions.
“The Pro Sys Consultants case concerns allegations that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive conduct relating to its operating systems, middleware, and PC compatible applications.” The plaintiffs (Pro Sys Consultants & Neil Godfrey) “requested that Microsoft produce several of its former executives for trial”, and Microsoft refused. The plaintiffs are now seeking to depose former Microsoft employees: James Allchin and Steve Ballmer.
James Allchin was employed by Microsoft until early 2007, serving as an executive and leading several projects, including the development of Microsoft’s operating systems (such as Windows Vista). The plaintiffs subpoena seeks his testimony on “the tying of Internet Explorer and other products to Windows” and its effect on competing products for the time period of 2006-2013. Steve Ballmer worked for Microsoft from June 1980 until February 2014, and served as CEO from January 2000 until he left the company. The plaintiffs seek his testimony on “the competitive landscape in the operating systems, browser, and office productivity markets; Microsoft’s strategic decisions with respect to Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, and Office; [and] the effect of Microsoft’s decisions on competing products.” Significant amounts of files produced by Microsoft in the case came from Mr. Allchin’s and Mr. Ballmer’s custodian files or files that they were the author or recipient of.
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See In re Pro-Sys Consultants and Neil Godfrey, No. 16-00459, Dkt. No. 34 (W.D. Wash. 2016).
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