Microsoft said Tuesday it had filed 15 lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom aimed at stemming the growth of e-mail spam, or electronic junk mail, an increasingly costly problem that has been blamed for customer defections.

The 15 companies and individuals named in the lawsuits were responsible for flooding Microsoft’s MSN Internet service with more than 2 billion unsolicited e-mails touting everything from get-rich-quick schemes to pornographic websites.

Microsoft said the lawsuits were aimed at making “spammers” stop their activities and also would seek monetary damages.

Separately the United States and 29 other countries announced an effort on Tuesday to track down spammers, telemarketers and other scam artists who operate across international borders.
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