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May 17, 2006

US judge OKs two more years of Microsoft antitrust oversight

Posted by David Hunter at 1:53 PM ET.

As expected, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved the two year extension of Microsoft antitrust oversight by the Department of Justice that had been requested by both parties. She wasn’t exactly a pushover though:

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also pressed the Justice Department to defend its conclusion that Microsoft did not violate antitrust laws over the design of its upcoming Internet Explorer Web browser software.

“I couldn’t quite figure out how it got resolved and why it wasn’t a problem,” the judge said. She appeared satisfied after a Justice Department lawyer, Renata Hesse, described how easy it was for consumers and computer makers to direct the browser software to use search technology other than Microsoft’s.

Government lawyers said they were prepared to extend oversight of Microsoft’s business activities through 2012 if they deem it necessary. In court papers, they had described Microsoft’s efforts under parts of the settlement as “disappointing” and “not very encouraging,” but they also said Microsoft’s failures were neither willful nor systematic.

Kollar-Kotelly expressed concerns that Microsoft will devote sufficient attention to its obligations under the U.S. antitrust settlement even as it faces related pressures from its court fight with the European Commission.

“We started earlier, and I’m not going to be stuck going to 2012 because the European Commission got something faster,” she said. “I want to be sure we have the resources to get this done.”

Filed under Antitrust, General Business, Governmental Relations, Legal, Microsoft

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One Response to “US judge OKs two more years of Microsoft antitrust oversight”

  1. Microsoft, DOJ file for antitrust extension -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The extension of U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s November 2002 antitrust settlement would give Microsoft more time to complete work on technical documentation for licensees of its communications protocols. The DOJ and Microsoft filed a joint request Wednesday for Kollar-Kotelly to approve the extension, which the DOJ proposed in May. We mentioned it in May and this is basically a formality since it had already been approved by Judge Kollar-Kotelly, but it’s that pesky documentation again that also tripped Microsoft up with the European Union. The plaintiffs can also ask for an additional three year extension if they believe Microsoft still hasn’t gotten it right. Filed under Legal, Governmental Relations, General Business, Antitrust, Microsoft   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

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