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Govt. says Microsoft ignoring monopoly ruling

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CIOL Bureau
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Microsoft has so far completely ignored Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s

ruling that the company operates a monopoly and is using its monopoly power to

safeguard its Windows operating system from competitive threats, according to

lawyers for the U.S. Justice in their latest court filings. Department and 19 states are suing the software giant on antitrust grounds. 

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Microsoft is treating last fall’s ruling as merely an afterthought and is not

changing its business practices to prepare for the legal consequences of the

Court’s ruling. Nor has the company provided any meaningful evidence to

suggest that it is not violating antitrust law in exercising its monopoly power.

The brief was filed in response to a Microsoft filing last week in which the

company said the government failed to show that Microsoft’s business practices

violated U.S. law.

"Microsoft treats as nearly an afterthought both the court's core

finding that Microsoft has monopoly power and the unifying theme of the court's

numerous findings' that Microsoft fought a multi-front campaign to protect its

monopoly,"  the government argued in a 30-page brief. The antitrust case is

moving toward a February 22 data at which both parties will be able to submitted

court room testimony on the issue of whether Microsoft’s use of its monopoly

power violated antitrust laws. It is all but certain that Jackson will rule in

the Government’s favor on this critical issue.

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"Microsoft fails to identify any basis for denying the plain legal

consequence of the court's findings: that Microsoft unlawfully maintained a

monopoly'' in violation of the law, the government said. Reportedly, the

settlement talks in Chicago have all but broken down as Microsoft is refusing to

consider some of the remedies the government has proposed, most notably a

three-way split-up of the company.

Legal analysts say the chances of a settlement appear dead at this point and

Microsoft has likely decided to fight the case tooth and nails, hoping to find

relief in either the legal or political systems with a future possible

Republican Administration killing the case if any of Jackson’s rulings are

over-turned on appeal. Microsoft's new chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer

said two weeks ago that talk of a break-up was "absolutely reckless and

irresponsible.''

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