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DOJ Opposes Supreme Court Appeal

The U.S. Department of Justice formally opposed Microsoft Corp.'s effort to get the Supreme Court to hear the antitrust case before it returns to the District Court.

Justice Department attorneys filed the motion opposing a Supreme Court appeal late Friday. The filing came in response to Microsoft's filing on Tuesday of a Writ of Certiorari, requesting that the Supreme Court consider whether U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's conduct was unprofessional enough to merit throwing out his findings of fact and conclusions of law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals threw out Jackson's proposed remedy -- breaking Microsoft into two companies -- but let stand his facts and rulings of law for the most part. The appeals court ordered a rehearing on the browser-operating system tying issue.

The Justice Department's Friday filing argues that the Supreme Court might as well wait to consider the case until the District Court retrial is over and the appeals court has reconsidered it since the whole process is likely to wind up there again.

Both Microsoft's effort to delay retrial through a Supreme Court appeal, and the Justice Department's effort to get the case moving again in District Court are consistent with the respective sides' apparent legal strategies. Microsoft seems to perceive that its interests are best served by slowing down the case, while the Justice Department's actions indicate a preference for a quicker courtroom resolution.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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