MS slates DoJ's proposal -- 'unjustified', Part II

Summary:Quibbling with conduct remediesMicrosoft also quibbled with some of the DOJ's proposed conduct remedies by:

  • Adding wording that would let the new separate companies work with each other under certain circumstances, such as when they're trying to make products work well together. The DoJ wants the companies to refrain from sharing technical information such as APIs with each other unless such information is simultaneously available to outside developers. "It is not feasible to engage in technical interactions while insuring that all information disclosed in the course of those interactions is 'simultaneously available' to the entire computer industry," Microsoft said.

  • Changing wording so that it could continue to offer different prices to different computer makers.

  • Adding a provision that it not be required to release secret APIs in Windows.

  • Changing the terms of the judgment so it would last only four years, instead of the 10 requested by the DOJ.

In a previous filing opposing the breakup proposal, the company warned that the employees "might leave the company in droves," an action that could destroy Microsoft's business, it said.

In Wednesday's filing, the company also restated worries that it needed more time to respond to the government's breakup proposal.

Microsoft attorneys had asked for as much as six months to question witnesses and collect evidence. To that end the company filed an additional document, known as an "offer of proof" containing the names of industry executives who would testify that breaking up the company would harm computer makers, software companies and the industry in general.

The list included Dreamworks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and Compaq CEO Michael Capellas.

Microsoft also submitted an offer of proof at last week's hearing. That list included company Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.

The judge could rule on Microsoft's fate as early as Thursday, but some legal experts expect it could take him a few days to a couple of weeks to consider all remedy proposals and craft an opinion of his own in addition to the DoJ's plan.

After that, Jackson's judgment probably would be set aside while the case is appealed. Microsoft has vowed to appeal. The case also could go directly to the Supreme Court, under a law designed to expedite certain antitrust cases.

On Friday, Microsoft cancelled a meeting for investors and reporters where it had planned to unveil its much-hyped plans for integrating Windows even more tightly with the Internet.

Back to Part I

What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Take me to the DoJ/Microsoft special.

Topics: Tech Industry

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