Six US states seek extension of Microsoft antitrust settlement

[JURIST] A group of six US states and the District of Columbia, collectively called the "California group," Tuesday requested that the terms of the 2002 Microsoft [corporate website; JURIST news archive] antitrust settlement [final judgment] be extended from their scheduled expiration this November until 2012. Lawyers for the group, arguing in front of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly [official profile] of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website], said that Microsoft should still be subject to oversight, as products Windows and Internet Explorer still dominate the market. The California Group may have a difficult time convincing Kollar-Kotelly, who said that the settlement agreement was not designed to reduce Microsoft's dominance in the market but was instead designed to correct anti-competitive practices. Microsoft's filing [PDF text] largely responded to criticisms in the California group's separate filing [PDF text]. Both the Justice Department and the "New York Group," another group of five states, have recently touted the success of the decree [filing text].

The California group had not mentioned requesting an extension of the decree when all parties were preparing a joint status report [filing text] late last month. As such, Kollar-Kotelly has asked the California group to prepare a written proposal explaining the rationale for an extension by October 15. Microsoft will then have a little less than a week to establish a timeframe for responding to the request. Last year, Kollar-Kotelly granted [JURIST report] a Justice Department request [JURIST report] to extend certain provisions of the settlement until November 2009. The Washington Post has more.

 

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