It was hardly a surprise that some states led by California wanted the expiring oversight mandated by the 2002 US Microsoft antitrust settlement to continue and now they have made the formal request for an extension until 2012 in a court filing.
The California group offered all the familiar justifications for continued oversight, but one new one is their invocation of the specter of Silverlight domination of the emerging Rich Internet Application (RIA) space due to the pervasiveness of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser.
Additionally, an interesting turn of events is that four states in the so-called “New York group” that had favored ending oversight have now changed their minds:
In what appears to be a surprise move, four state attorneys general who previously praised the effectiveness of Microsoft’s antitrust settlement with the feds are now changing course.
In a nine-page court filing with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Thursday, officials in New York, Maryland, Louisiana and Florida said they were joining a group of six states, led by California, and the District of Columbia in calling for extending oversight on Redmond until 2012.
“An extension is appropriate to assure that marketplace participants have sufficient “opportunity to establish positions to compete against Microsoft, an entrenched monopolist,” they wrote, according to a document seen by CNET News.com.
Other states from the original New York group still do not object to ending oversight or expressed no opinion. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is expected to make the decision on November 6 and I would be surprised if the oversight is not extended, but betting on judicial decisions is always risky.