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Judge to issue Microsoft rulings


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• Special Report: United States vs. Microsoft 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal judge is expected to decide Friday whether to accept an agreement to resolve a landmark anti-trust case filed by the U.S. Justice Department against the software giant.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly plans to disseminate the opinions after the markets close Friday.

Last November, Microsoft reached a settlement in the antitrust case with the Department of Justice and about half of the states who also sued the software giant. But the District of Columbia and nine states -- California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah, and West Virginia -- objected to the remedies imposed by the settlement, arguing they weren't strong enough.

In May, Kollar-Kotelly quizzed both sides on the scope of a possible remedy. Microsoft argued that any remedy should be narrowly tailored to prevent those acts courts have found uncompetitive in the past, while attorneys for the states want a broad remedy that will prevent similar acts in the future.

Microsoft lawyer Dan Webb told the judge that extending remedies beyond Microsoft's past behavior and applying them to future technologies was unacceptable from a legal perspective. He also said it would not address the critical issue of preventing monopolies.

But Steve Kuney, a lawyer for the states, said the court could rely on Microsoft's interest in dominating new technologies as an indicator of what the company considers a possible threat to its dominance -- and where it might seek monopoly power.

Another federal judge ruled that Microsoft, which dominates the market for desktop computer operating systems, violated antitrust law to protect its market monopoly, primarily by attacking both Netscape Communications Corp. and a technology known as Java.



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