Microsoft case goes back to district court

Microsoft case goes back to district court

SEPT. 26—The Supreme Court today declined to hear the Microsoft Corp. antitrust case, instead sending it back to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

The 8-1 decision, which could delay a final ruling on the case by six months or more, is a setback for the Justice Department, which had won a court decision in June ordering that the company be split into two.

The federal district court ruling by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson agreed with Justice's arguments that Microsoft had engaged in monopolistic practices. After Microsoft appealed the decision to the D.C. Circuit Court, Justice attorneys asked the Supreme Court to hear the case directly, arguing that the potential impact on consumers of the case's outcome merited a quick decision [see story at].

But the high court apparently agreed with Microsoft's contention that the case should first be heard in the lower court. The case could yet reach the Supreme Court if the circuit court's eventual ruling is appealed.

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