2 December 2002 Software giant Microsoft’s antitrust trial looks sets to drag on into next year after at least one US state said it would continue to push for harsher penalties against the company.
Massachusetts attorney general Tom Reilly said his state would appeal against a ruling by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that largely approved Microsoft’s original settlement reached with the US government in November 2001. He said he wanted the US court of appeals to review the settlement, which he criticised as a “loophole-filled deal”.
However, seven of the other nine dissenting states said they would not appeal against the ruling by Kollar-Kotelly. “Most of the states feel that now is the time to focus on enforcement and making sure that the remedies won after two victories in court produce real-world benefits for consumers,” said Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut.
The last remaining state, West Virginia, said it had not yet decided whether to appeal, citing financial considerations.
Last month, Kollar-Kotelly added a few provisions to the November 2001 settlement, including holding a Microsoft board member responsible for compliance with terms of the five year settlement and preventing the company from retaliating against software and hardware vendors that do not comply with Microsoft’s terms for supplying its software.
Microsoft will be relieved that most of the states have finally accepted the terms of the settlement after a draining four year trial. Despite this, the European Commission (EC) is continuing its own antitrust investigation into the company.
EC official defects to Microsoft (29 November 2002)