A federal appeals court Friday ruled against software maker Microsoft Corp.’s attempt to delay its antitrust battle from heading to a new trial court.

Microsoft asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to postpone its case from heading to a trial court, where a judge is expected to decide a new set of remedies to impose on the software giant. Microsoft requested a stay in the case until the Supreme Court reviews the June 28 ruling from the Appeals Court that affirmed Microsoft was operating as an illegal monopoly.

In the appellate ruling, the Appeals Court shot down behavioral and structural remedies imposed by District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson – which included splitting Microsoft into two companies, one to focus on operating systems; the other on software. The panel of appellate judges overturned those remedies, and ordered it back to a trial court where a new judge is expected to impose new remedies withdrawing Jackson from the case.

The judges scolded Jackson for comments he made in the press two months before he issued his ruling in June 2000, concluding that he did in fact violate the Code of Conduct of United States Judges. The court, however, concluded that Jackson’s private discussions with reporters “discerned no evidence of actual bias,” and upheld eight findings of fact from his ruling.

After failing to win a rehearing on the issue of “commingling” its Internet Explorer browser code with the Windows operating system with the Appeals Court in July, Microsoft took its case to the Supreme Court. Now the company has taken the defense that Jackson’s violation of the Code of Conduct makes his entire ruling moot.

Microsoft Canada, in Mississauga, can be reached at http://www.microsoft.ca. The Department of Justice is available online at http://www.doj.gov.

(Additional reporting by George A. Chidi, Jr.)



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