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Microsoft: No Evidence in States' Claim

States pressing for continued scrutiny of Microsoft Corp.'s business practices failed to support their argument with evidence.

States pressing for continued scrutiny of Microsoft Corp.'s business practices failed to support their argument with evidence, the software maker said in a court filing Friday.

Microsoft, which was found to be using its operating system dominance to quash other types of competing software, has operated since 2002 under the terms of an antitrust settlement struck with the federal government and 17 U.S. states.

Most of the consent decree, which said Microsoft must help rivals build software that runs smoothly with Windows, was set to expire in November.

But in October, after requests from several states to add five years to federal oversight of the software company, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly pushed the expiration date to Jan. 31, 2008, to allow time to consider arguments made by both sides.

On Dec. 10, after a first round of court filings, the judge asked the states to give "specific factual information and legal argument" to support their claim that allowing most of the consent decree to expire would interfere with ongoing enforcement of the remaining portion.

In its filing Friday, Microsoft said the states failed to back up that claim.

The Justice Department has extended the parts of the consent decree that have to do with technical documentation and server software licensing through 2009.

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