Judge Allows More Time for Briefs

WASHINGTON (06/01/2000) - U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson today gave the U.S. Department of Justice and the states that have sued Microsoft Corp. for antitrust violations until Monday morning to file additional comments on their proposed final judgment 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.

The order comes as the pace toward a final ruling from Jackson quickens. 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.

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/.

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