Justice Dept Seeks Extension in MS Antitrust Case

Dennis Faas's picture

The U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ) and several states have requested an extension of restrictive antitrust oversight of Microsoft Corp. An 18 month extension was requested by the DOJ and 17 U.S. states, including New York and California, in order to 'thoroughly scrub' technical documentation Microsoft is producing to comply with antitrust law.

The DOJ's restrictive oversight of Microsoft was first implemented in 2002 as part of an antitrust settlement that required Microsoft to produce reams of technical documentation designed for enabling rivals to design compatible products with Microsoft's Windows software.  (Source: marketwatch.com)

A recent court filing by the Department of Justice said that production of the documentation is proceeding well but more time is needed for them to thoroughly review it.

Last year, following a similar DOJ request, oversight was extended and scheduled to expire in November of this year.

Extension Requested Through May 2011

The lengthy extension was requested by the Department of Justice because they believe it would make additional extensions unnecessary. The DOJ and the states involved requested an extension of the oversight through May, 2011.

Possibly in response to antitrust concerns, Microsoft is adding control panel options to Windows 7 that will allow users to turn off Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Microsoft's hard-drive search software.

Microsoft agreed to the extension request. Microsoft and the DOJ also agreed that when the extension is up, the government won't be able to ask for more time to review an operating system that hasn't gone on sale, meaning if Windows 7 hasn't been released by May 2011, it won't be subject to the antitrust scrutiny under the 2002 agreement. (Source: google.com)

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