DOJ digs deeper into Microsoft

According to US reports, the US Justice Department (DoJ) is expanding its antitrust probe of Microsoft to include issues related to Sun Microsystems' Java software.

Sun has confirmed that it has received a civil subpoena regarding Microsoft from the DoJ. Sun has also received separate subpoenas from several states also investigating the software giant.

The move expands the government's probe beyond Microsoft's practices in the web-browser market where the company has been accused of monopolistic practices by several industry partners.

Sun's Java software is seen as a potential competitor to the Windows operating system, and Sun's chief executive Scott McNealy is an ardent Microsoft critic. According to the reports, Sun has filed a civil suit against Microsoft alleging violations of its license to use Java.

A Sun spokeswoman would not reveal what information is sought in the subpoenas.

A Microsoft spokesman told ZDNet News it was not surprised by the subpoenas and said the company is confident it is living up to its contract with Sun.