WASHINGTON (06/01/2000) - U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson today gave the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and states that have sued Microsoft Corp. for antitrust violations until Monday morning to file additional comments on Microsoft's latest brief, filed yesterday in the landmark case.
In an order issued by the court and posted at its Web site today following a conference call among the parties in the case, Jackson said Microsoft would have until next Wednesday to file a response to the government's comments.
At a hearing last week, Jackson rebuffed Microsoft's plea for more time to defend itself against an April 28 recommendation from the DOJ that Microsoft be split in two and appeared to be running out of patience. Jackson told the lawyers then that he "was not contemplating any further process" in the trial and he told the government lawyers to file a "clean copy" of their breakup proposal.
Yesterday Microsoft filed what was thought to be its final brief in the case, claiming that the government's proposal contains a host of problems. In it, Microsoft repeated its criticism that the government's proposal to break up the company is extreme and out of proportion to the judge's findings in the case.
The order issued today does not say when Jackson will issue his final ruling.
In its April 28 proposal, the DOJ asked Jackson to split Microsoft into two separate companies -- one focused on the Windows operating system and the other on software applications and Microsoft's Internet properties -- as a way of curbing the company's behavior. The DOJ was joined in its breakup request by 17 of the 19 U.S. states that are also plaintiffs in the case and the District of Columbia.
Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com/. The DOJ, in Washington, D.C., can be reached via the Internet at http://www.usdoj.gov/.