Microsoft reaffirms request for delay in case

In papers filed with a federal appeals court Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. reiterated its request to slow the progress of its landmark antitrust case as it awaits further review from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The software maker asked the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to postpone its case from returning to a trial court until the Supreme Court has a chance to review a June 28 appeals court ruling. That ruling upheld a lower court finding that Microsoft was operating as an illegal monopoly, but overturned behavioral and structural remedies that had been imposed on the software maker.

Microsoft argued in a filing last week with the Supreme Court that the findings of fact and remedies imposed in June 2000 by District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson -- which included splitting Microsoft into two separate companies -- should be thrown out because of an alleged bias Jackson revealed when speaking about the case to reporters.

The Department of Justice and 18 state attorneys general who are plaintiffs in the case filed papers Friday with the same court asking it to deny Microsoft's request for a delay. The government argued that Microsoft has no chance of winning support from the nation's highest court based on its argument that the judge was biased, and recommended that the case be moved forward quickly in the interests of competition.

A Microsoft spokesman said Tuesday's four-page filing is "par for the course." In a statement released shortly afterward, Microsoft said it "remain(s) committed to resolving the remaining issues in this case as quickly as possible through settlement."

The next step in the case will come from the appeals court, which will rule on whether or not to back Microsoft's request and delay the case from heading back to the lower court where a new set of remedies will be crafted.

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