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Microsoft May Challenge U.S. Breakup Plan

May 04, 2000|Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. may ask a federal judge to disregard a plan to break up the company, arguing that the government improperly based its proposal on evidence that wasn't presented at trial, according to people close to the antitrust case. Microsoft objects to the statements of five outside experts in the plan submitted to U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson of Washington, D.C., by the Justice Department and seven states, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The software company contends those experts addressed issues that were not brought up in the nearly year-long trial. On April 3, Jackson ruled that Microsoft violated state and federal antitrust laws used its monopoly power in personal computer operating systems to crush rivals. The government then asked the judge to break Microsoft into two rival companies. Microsoft must respond by May 10, and the sources said the filing is still being drafted. The company has already said it will ask for delays in the proceedings before hearings are held. Jackson's plans call for hearings on May 24.

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