Microsoft Asks Court To Overturn Breakup Ruling - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Asks Court To Overturn Breakup Ruling

Striking familiar notes in its antitrust case appeal, Microsoft says its decision to bundle a Web browser with Windows benefited customers and again called for a reversal of a prior breakup order in the company's last legal filing before oral arguments begin Feb. 26.

Microsoft Monday submitted a 75-page brief, its final filing to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before hearings scheduled for Feb. 26-27 in Washington, D.C. The brief contains Microsoft's response to a government filing on Jan. 12, in which the Department of Justice and 19 states suing Microsoft for antitrust violations call the case "a classic matter of monopolization." The government claimed victory in an earlier phase of the proceeding, when U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in June ordered Microsoft broken into two operating companies, though he stayed the judgment pending appeal.

Monday, Microsoft asked the appellate court to overturn that ruling. "We believe our appeal presents a strong case for reversal of the district court judgment," Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said in a statement. "Our reply brief focuses upon significant concessions in the government's brief, including the concession that it was pro-competitive for Microsoft to include Internet technologies in Windows."

Microsoft also chided Jackson for comments made to New Yorker reporter Ken Auletta for his book about the trial, in which Jackson says Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has "a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company." The judge also told Auletta that, "I trust the lawyers from the Department of Justice."

As the wheels of justice turn in the antitrust case, Microsoft continues to clean up the aftermath of last week's Web-site outages, caused by internal technical problems and a subsequent hacker attack that left the company's Internet sites inaccessible for parts of several days. Microsoft Monday said it's hired Akamai Technologies to operate four backup directories for its major Web sites.

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