Another company reacts to AT&T v. Concepcion. A Forbes article yesterday notes that Microsoft is now including forced arbitration and class-action bans in its customer agreements. The article explains:
Recently, [Microsoft] made changes to the Services Agreement governing Hotmail, SkyDrive, Bing, Windows Live Messenger and other online services.
The key provision in the Agreement requires users of Microsoft’s
products to agree to “binding arbitration,” in which they give “up the
right to litigate (or participate in as a party or class member) all
disputes in court before a judge or jury.”
Just in case that wasn’t restrictive enough, the next section –
entitled “Class Action Waiver” – also forbids the software giant’s
consumers from joining “a class action or in any other proceeding in
which either party acts or proposes to act in a representative
The article is surprisingly–surprisingly, because Forbes generally offers a business-side perspective–understanding of the important role that class actions can serve:
Despite the[ir] flaws, class actions are ideally situated to pursue
wrongdoers who have harmed many people in small amounts. Conceptually,
at least, they serve a worthy purpose in our legal system yet have been
under threat for many years.