The open source software operations of IBM, Red Hat and Novell need not fear prosecution under antitrust laws, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Plaintiff Daniel Wallace had sued the open source giants, contending that they had conspired with the Free Software Foundation and others to offer their wares at an “unbeatable” price, thereby squeezing competing alternatives from enterprising software writers like Wallace out of the market. (Wallace, according to court documents, wanted to compete with Linux, “either by offering a derivative work or by writing an operating system from scratch.”)
A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit disagreed, upholding an earlier decision by a lower court.
“People willingly pay for quality software even when they can get free (but imperfect) substitutes,” the judges wrote in a six-page opinion