A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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February 22, 2005

Microsoft sues Israeli spammer

Microsoft is suing Amir Gans, a self-proclaimed "email marketer" based in Israel, according to this article in the country's Haaretz newspaper.

The lawsuit comes less than two months after Gans was the subject of a detailed -- and some might say glowing -- profile in Haaretz.

I interviewed Gans by email earlier this week. (We had to use his backup email account, because Microsoft's servers were returning "550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable" messages when I tried him on his Hotmail account.)

Gans told me that Microsoft recently sent him a letter threatening to sue him if he didn't agree to "publicly apologize and pay them 0.5 million NIS ($100,000)."

Gans said he told Microsoft it couldn't intimidate him. Hence the lawsuit filing today. Microsoft is seeking 2.5M NIS (about $575,000).

Gans accused the big company of unfair competition. He claims MSN Israel charges $1,900 to send messages to 50,000 Hotmail users, whereas he charges $850 to spam one million recipients.

"It is important to know that I'm not a bulk mailer of viagra, ialis, oem software etc.," said Gans in the email interview. "My company gives advertisement services to businesses in Israel that sell computers, insurance, banks services, cellular phones, etc. [These are] serious business that find email marketing a great and in-exensive methood for advertising."

Microsoft Internet Safety Enforcement Attorney Aaron Kornblum confirmed that the company had filed the lawsuit, but he had no other immediate comment.

Posted by brian at February 22, 2005 8:30 PM


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