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DoJ-Microsoft split to happen on 29 March?

Split likely to cause flurry in share dealing

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Sources close to Microsoft suggested today that as part of a deal with US Department of Justice (DoJ), a company split will happen next Monday, 29 March. According to the source, the sides are getting closer, with Microsoft lawyer Bill Neukom already in discussions with Justice Department officials, as well as representatives from the other 19 prosecuting US states. The Wall Street Journal and other US wires reported this morning that talks are likely to start soon, but our information is that discussions are already under way. Bill Gates, Microsoft's CEO, has decided that rather than have the humiliating trial resume on 12 April, he is likely to get a better deal if he settles now. Meantwhile, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) launched its own anti-trust case against Microsoft on Friday, with the software giant being accused of being monopolistic. ®

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