The old disagreement over whether the 2002 US antitrust settlement with Microsoft was too lenient have resurfaced as the settlement restrictions are set to expire on Nov. 12 and U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly considers arguments about whether they should be extended.
On one side, the U.S. Department of Justice and five states — New York, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio and Wisconsin — told Kollar-Kotelly that the decree had done its job. “The United States and the New York group respectively submit that the final judgments have achieved [their] goals,” the group’s report read.
Thomas Barnett, the assistant attorney general who heads the Justice Department’s antitrust division, was more specific. “The final judgments have been successful in preventing Microsoft from continuing the type of exclusionary behavior that led to the original lawsuit,” he said in a statement.
Six states and the District of Columbia, all part of the group that rejected the settlement when it was first proposed by the Department of Justice in 2001, sharply dissented.
Lead by California, the group — which also includes D.C., Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts — said Microsoft’s grip on the industry was as strong as ever.
Kollar-Kotelly will hear arguments from both sides at the regular Sept. 11 status meeting and decide. More details: