MS/DOJ - Stock may be hurt by remedies, MS tells SEC

Microsoft's stock may be adversely affected by the remedies ordered by the judge in the antitrust case brought against the software giant by the US government, the vendor said in a filing Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"Although Microsoft expects to obtain relief from some or all of the provisions in the Final Judgment, it is unable to predict when or to what extent such relief will be obtained," Microsoft wrote in the filing to the SEC. "The failure to obtain sufficient relief through the stay and/or the appeal could have a material adverse effect on the value of Microsoft's common stock."

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson June 7 ordered that Microsoft be broken up into two companies -- an operating systems firm and an applications firm -- and that the vendor be subject to a number of restrictions on its business conduct.

The software vendor June 8 asked Judge Jackson for a stay in the imposition of behavioral remedies. Microsoft Tuesday filed its notice of appeals with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, also asking the appeals court to stay all provisions of Judge Jackson's final verdict pending the final outcome of its appeal.

Over the course of this week, Microsoft and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed a number of briefs over which court should hear the software maker's appeal -- the U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

Microsoft stock closed Friday at $US72.56, a slight rise of 0.26 percent on Thursday's market close. Back in January, the software vendor's stock was trading as high as $119.94, although more recently, it has sunk as low as $60.37.

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