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Message subject : Microsoft news

This message was posted by bob on April 26, 2000 :

WASHINGTON, April 26 — The states involved in an antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. are expected to join the federal government Friday in calling for the software giant to be split in two, sources familiar with the case said.

THE STATES and U.S. Justice Department are expected to file a joint proposal to break Microsoft into two separate companies, one to manufacture the Windows operating system and the other to make applications, such as Microsoft Office programs, the sources said Wednesday.
(Microsoft is a partner in MSNBC.)

Earlier this week, sources said the Justice Department was likely to propose a breakup. But there had been reports the states were having trouble agreeing among themselves, and were even further from agreeing with the Justice Department.

District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the Justice Department and 19 states to file their proposed remedies this Friday after he ruled on April 3 that Microsoft violated the nation’s antitrust laws.

Jackson said a majority of states could file separate proposals if they were unable to agree with Justice. They have now agreed to file a joint proposed remedy, the sources said, although a few states may file minority remarks.

Under the proposal, most of Microsoft’s Internet browser functions would go along with Office, but the operating system company would retain some rights to the browser.

The proposal would delay the breakup of Microsoft until the appellate process is complete, but in the meantime impose restrictions on the firm’s conduct.

Microsoft will file its reply on May 10, when it will oppose the government’s plan and suggest its own.

“There’s nothing in the existing trial record to support this kind of excessive proposal, which is clearly outside the scope of the case,” said Mark Murray, a spokesman for Microsoft.

“There would need to be months of discovery, depositions and hearings in order for the court to review such a radical step,” Murray said.

The government will in turn file further views on May 17 and Jackson will conduct a hearing on May 24.

source cnbc

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