States Ask Feds For More Microsoft Oversight

    October 18, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Provisions of Microsoft’s antitrust settlement involving oversight by the federal courts will end in November, and some attorneys general have demanded an extension of that ongoing supervision.

At some point, US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly probably wants Microsoft to just go away. The judge has been a regular recipient of visitors from Microsoft to her courtroom, all part of a settlement of US v Microsoft that made the Court Microsoft’s competition overseer.

Much of that responsibility fades away in November, five years after it began. However, some of the states that battled the technology powerhouse think five years is too soon to let Microsoft off the hook.

A CNN Money report said California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts and Minnesota as well as the District of Columbia want another five years tacked on to Microsoft’s supervision:

The states, known as the California Group, had opposed the original consent decree between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice and several other state antitrust authorities in 2002.

“The stark and irrefutable fact is that competition is less robust than it should be,” Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut attorney general, told Dow Jones Newswires. “Extending the judgment really does no harm and holds the promise of a lot of good.”

Microsoft disagrees, as a company spokesperson said, “the consent decree has served its purpose.”

The company came close to being broken up into two separate ones in 2000. It has long been believed the judicial misconduct of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who presided over the original case. The consent decree that has leashed Microsoft was approved by Kollar-Kotelly in November, 2001.