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States ask judge to extend watch on Microsoft

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue September 11, 2007

States: Keep watching MS

Several US states have petitioned a federal judge to expand oversight of Microsoft for another five years, according to the Associated Press. Oversight of the company originally began in 2002, as part of an antitrust settlement; Microsoft was accused of hampering its competitors' ability to develop for the Windows operating system. This oversight is still set to expire federally and in 17 states as of November 12th, but attorneys for California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have all joined to ask for the extension.

California would also like to extend part of a decree covering server software from November 2009 to 2012.

The problem the states may face is that the federal government believes oversight is producing the intended effect. The judge in the case, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, notes that any extension will have to serve an "identifiable purpose," especially since Microsoft appears set for full compliance by the November 12th deadline.

Furthermore, filings by the Justice Department indicate that it feels enough competition has been created for Microsoft, mainly in terms of web browsers such as Safari and Firefox. A department lawyer has also told Kollar-Kotelly that Windows Vista has already been reviewed, and should not create future antitrust violations. The last ruling of the current oversight period is scheduled for November 6th.

by MacNN Staff




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