Cower you spammers! Gatesy and Spitz, a dynamic spambusting cop duo, have vowed to cleanse the planet (or at least that part of it west of the Irish Sea and east of the Pacific) of flagitious unsolicited emails.

This is it. The alliance the world has awaited with bated breath … cue fanfare ... Microsoft Corporation and Eliot Spitzer. Together for the very first time, the world's mightiest software company and the US of A's most famed state attorney general have united to zap, splat and pow spammers wherever they may lurk. There is no hiding place!

Microsoft chief counsel Brad Smith joined New York state attorney general Spitzer at a news conference in the Big Apple on Thursday to announce joint lawsuits against three spam companies including OptInRealBig, operated by Scott Richter who, according to Spitzer, is the third-largest source of spam in the world, sending more than 250 million messages a day.

Vowed the ambitious attorney general: ""We will drive them into bankruptcy. Therefore others will not come into the marketplace because they will see there is no viable business model here."

Also in Gatesy and Spitz's crosswires are Delta Seven Communications, an email company run by Denny Cole and, until recently, Paul Boes who now works for a Seattle company selling pills that allegedly enlarge those parts that other beers cannot reach (forgive the evasion but your email server might otherwise reject this innocent news offering as spam); and Synergy6, a New York marketing operation whose website was promoted by Delta Seven's mailings.

Spitzer said he will seek $20 million (€16.09m; £11.28m) in damages from Richter and the other defendants.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff