West Virginia Joins Microsoft Anti-Trust Appeal

State will team with Massachusetts to challenge the decision rejecting most of the demands made for stronger sanctions.
Massachusetts will have a partner in its appeal of a federal judge's decision to endorse the settlement of the Microsoft anti-trust case. West Virginia attorney general Darrell McGraw says he's filed a notice in federal court that the state will challenge last month's decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

McGraw says his state will join the appeal because the settlement negotiated between Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department last year doesn't go far enough to end all of the vendor's illegal practices.

Massachusetts filed notice Friday that it would appeal the decision. The District of Columbia and seven other states--California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and Utah--have thrown in the towel. Instead, they'll focus on ensuring that Microsoft complies with the Nov. 1 ruling.

The settlement includes giving computer makers greater freedom to feature rival software on their machines by allowing them to hide some Microsoft icons on the Windows desktop.

The appeals court ruled in June 2001 that Microsoft had illegally maintained its operating system monopoly but rejected a trial court's proposal to halve the company. The case then was transferred to Kollar-Kotelly to determine the appropriate remedies. She heard 32 days of testimony to determine what sanctions should be imposed.

During the remedy hearings, the attorneys for the states argued that the anti-trust sanctions should be designed to stop the company from using Windows to crush competition in the markets for emerging technologies such as server software and handheld computers. But in her ruling, Kollar-Kotelly rejected nearly all the demands for stronger sanctions.

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