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Microsoft wriggles to keep DoJ off its data

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Microsoft has refused to comply with Judge Jackson's Order to give the DoJ access to sales, shipment and pricing data for Windows and Internet Explorer. On Friday, the DoJ presented an Emergency Motion to the federal court asking for an Order requiring Microsoft to give immediate access to its OEM databases. Microsoft claims that the Request from the DoJ and the states joined in the action does not cover the data requested. The DoJ in its Motion points out that its Request covers "all data contained [in the databases] or other contents thereof". This intransigence is a dangerous course of action for Microsoft. Non-compliance is likely to result in the refusal of the court to accept evidence from Microsoft on the issues concerned, as well as contempt of court penalties that could escalate to become criminal contempt and even cause Microsoft executives to spend some time off-site in a federal prison. The reasons for the refusal become more and more interesting. It may be that Microsoft does not want the DoJ to see other data that it says is not relevant to the immediate case. There is also the issue that a further need for discovery might result from what is found in the databases, and by delaying, Microsoft makes it too late to consider any such data. Microsoft's lawyers are also claiming that if the data is not specifically labelled "OEM transactions" the DoJ may not have access. This doesn't altogether square with the company supplying all relevant data, never mind the DoJ's demands for all data. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories

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