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Judge "Dread" Jackson lays down the law

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Three times the Department of Justice asked Microsoft to produce documents and emails. Three times Microsoft refused to comply. The cock crowed. Judge Jackson held an impromptu hearing lasting 20 minutes and gave Microsoft 24 hours to produce documents, emails, and details of meetings with Intel, Apple, and OEMs if Apple's QuickTime was discussed. A stunned Microsoft said it would comply. Microsoft's motion that the scope of the trial should be limited, or that Microsoft should be given six months to prepare its case was briefly considered by Jackson. Jackson told Microsoft that "My view of the case as raised by the complaint is not quite so narrow as yours" and decided to put off the decision on the scope to another hearing on 17 September, a week before the trial, which is still scheduled for 23 September. The Microsoft-friendly court of appeals has probably been put on standby by Microsoft if Judge Jackson does not humour Microsoft. Microsoft may have fallen into a trap set by the DoJ. It has protested that introducing additional evidence of its relationship with Apple, Intel, Sun, Bristol Technology and others would increase the scope of the present case, and that the additional lines of enquiry being followed by the DoJ would in effect create a need for a series of trials. But David Boies, the special trial counsel for the DoJ who has considerable relevant experience since he helped IBM in its epic 12-year antitrust case, told Judge Jackson that the purpose was to prove a pattern of predatory conduct. Gina Talamona, spokeswoman for the DoJ, said that it is not unusual for new information to arise during the discovery period. Meanwhile, Bristol Technologies' case against Microsoft caught the DoJ's eye. Keith Blackwell, the CEO, was interviewed by the DoJ and subpoenaed him to provide documents and a deposition. Microsoft claimed that the DoJ was on a fishing expedition. ®

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