States are split on Microsoft's antitrust deal

States are split on Microsoft's antitrust deal

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates called the settlement fair.

Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia have turned down a proposed settlement of the Justice Department's long-running antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp.

Nine other states have agreed to the pending settlement since it was announced Nov. 2. The Senate Judiciary Committee tentatively plans to hold a hearing on it Wednesday.

In a separate action, U.S. District Court could decide this month on whether to accept a $1.1 billion proposal to settle dozens of private anti-trust cases against the company.

A Justice statement said the deal the nine states agreed to 'im-poses a broad range of restrictions that will stop Microsoft's unlawful conduct, prevent recurrence of similar conduct in the future and restore competition.'

The deal would last for five years with a possible two-year extension and require Microsoft to give other software developers access to the application programming interfaces the company's desktop tools use to work with Microsoft OSes. The states that have agreed are Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Play fair

The pact 'ensures that non-Microsoft server software can interoperate with Windows on a PC the same way that Microsoft servers do,' the Justice statement said.

The settlement bars Microsoft from retaliating against hardware or software makers that support or develop certain competing products. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates called the settlement 'a fair compromise on all sides.'

The Federal Register published the proposed judgement Nov. 28.

Microsoft has posted a copy of it at www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/nov01/11-06revised-annotated.asp.

Links to previous documents in the antitrust case appear at www.dcd.uscourts.gov/microsoft-2001.html.

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