Justice retreats on Microsoft breakup

Justice retreats on Microsoft breakup

After a three-year pitched battle in the courts, the Justice Department's Antitrust Division today announced it would no longer try to break up Microsoft Corp., which an appeals court earlier this year declared to have an illegal monopoly in the PC operating system market.

Instead, Justice said it would pursue remedies for the monopolistic conduct as rapidly as possible. It will expedite fact-finding about the software giant's alleged abuse of monopoly power

The lengthy litigation has had some effect on the design and licensing arrangements of Windows XP, due out this month.

Justice will no longer prosecute its charge that Microsoft illegally integrated the Internet Explorer browser with Windows OSes and therefore harmed competitors and consumers. But Microsoft had already agreed to let its licensees install other vendors' browsers, media players and messaging applications on new PCs.

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