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Appeals Court to Hear Microsoft's Case; DoJ Wants to Go Supreme

The next chapter in the case of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp. unfolded yesterday, when the company filed and was approved for appeal by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. At the same time, the Department of Justice filed a motion to send Microsoft's appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) filed a 39-page brief seeking a stay of the June 7 ruling that the company is to be broken up. In the filing, the company argues that the reversal of the district court judgement is necessary "based on an array of serious and substantive and procedural errors that infected virtually every aspect of the proceedings below. These flaws culminated in the entry of unprecedented relief that extends far beyond the case that was presented, without affording Microsoft an evidentiary hearing."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to hear Microsoft's appeal. In an order filed yesterday, the Court of Appeals recognized the Microsoft case as one of "exceptional importance" and ordered that the case be heard by the appellate judges.

The Justice Department (www.usdoj.gov) has a different take on the issue. In a proposed order, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson asked for direct review by the Supreme Court. His primary argument for direct review is that it would allow for more prompt conclusion of the case.

"Prolonged uncertainty about the divestiture resulting from a lengthy appeals process would have significant adverse consequences. If the divestiture is to be affirmed on appeal, prompt resolution of that appeal is critical quickly to effectuate the divestiture remedy and to begin the process of restoring competitive conditions in the affected markets," writes Jackson in his proposal. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

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

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