Microsoft today filed its jurisdictional statement with the U.S. Supreme Court asking that the high court send the landmark antitrust case to a federal appeals court. The filing was in keeping with an agreement reached in June between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice that was intended to speed up the appeals process. Today was the deadline for Microsoft to file its jurisdictional statement; the Justice Department has until Aug. 15 to file its response.
The filing is the latest volley in Microsoft's attempt to have overturned U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's June 7 ruling that the company be split into two separate entities. Microsoft officials are convinced that the U.S. Court of Appeals is the best venue to hear their case. The Justice Department has sought to keep the case before the Supreme Court in order to skip the appellate court.
A Microsoft spokesman says the company's desire to have the case referred to the appeals court should not be seen as a delay tactic. "We want to get this behind us as quickly as possible," he says. "But it is in the best interest of all parties to have a complete and thorough review of this case, and the Court of Appeals is better-suited to conduct this review." The spokesman says Microsoft remains confident in its appeal, regardless of the venue.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on how the department would respond to Microsoft's request, saying only that "the appeal is standing before the Supreme Court, and the department will respond in its filing."