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October 30, 2007

Judge taking extra time to mull extension of Microsoft oversight

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 1:44 PM

The landmark antitrust case against Microsoft will plod along for at least another three months so the parties will have enough time fully argue whether it should be extended for five years.

The re-jiggering of the schedule comes after most of the states involved in the case filed motions earlier this month asking U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to extend oversight of the company by five years. Most of the important pieces of the settlement were due to expire Nov. 12, but the states argued that the 2002 antitrust settlement agreement is only just beginning to foster competition and needs more time to work.

In a joint motion filed today the states and Microsoft asked for an extension to no later than Jan. 31, 2008, "solely for procedural purposes to allow the parties to brief, and the court to consider, the motions."

The filing also lays out a schedule for Microsoft and the Department of Justice to respond to the states' motions to extend. Microsoft's argument in opposition is due Nov. 6, and the DOJ, which said in a filing earlier this month that it opposes extending the settlement, has until Nov. 9 to make its arguments.

The states would file counter-arguments by Nov. 16, and Kollar-Kotelly will determine whether another hearing is needed.

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Tricia Duryee
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