Software reseller suing Microsoft for £270 million over 'anticompetitive' actions

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Software reseller ValueLicensing is suing Microsoft for £270 million.
  • The lawsuit centers around Microsoft encouraging businesses to give up licenses for discounts rather than selling them to companies like ValueLicensing.
  • ValueLicensing claims that Microsoft's actions resulted in a gross loss of £270 million.

Microsoft is getting sued by UK-based software reseller ValueLicensing. The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft is using "anticompetitive" practices to get companies to give up licenses in exchange for discounts rather than selling the licenses to companies like ValueLicensing (via Forbes).

ValueLicensing is a certified provider of pre-owned Microsoft software licenses. ValueLicensing's website even has a Microsoft Partner Network icon on its about page. The company sells pre-owned Microsoft volume licenses and has operated since 2009.

The business model of ValueLicensing includes purchasing licenses from businesses that don't need them anymore and then reselling them. ValueLicensing claims that it has been hurt by "anticompetitive" practices by Microsoft. Specifically, it claims that it has been financially hurt by Microsoft pushing companies to give up licenses in exchange for discounts rather than selling them to ValueLicensing or similar companies.

"Microsoft's illegal behaviour has impacted almost every organisation that provides desktop software for its workforce in the UK and the EEA," said Jonathan Horley, managing director at ValueLicensing to the Financial Times.

Horley also claims that his company isn't the only one hurt by Microsoft:

ValueLicensing is not the only victim. In purchasing software, public and private-sector organisations presently have little option but to move to subscriptions offered by Microsoft, because there are so few preowned perpetual licenses available now, as a result of Microsoft's campaign to almost entirely drain the market.

ValueLicensing's lawsuit was filed with the High Court in London. In addition to seeking for NDAs to be removed from contracts and Microsoft stopping its activities, ValueLicensing asks the court to "award damages for the loss it has suffered as a result of Microsoft's conduct." According to ValueLicensing, these losses are valued at an estimated gross profit of £270 million.

The Financial Times reached out to Microsoft for comment but was told that Microsoft cannot comment on ongoing legal cases.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at