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Judge sets schedule for remedies against MS

Government claim by end April, then MS responds

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MS on Trial While Bill Gates was across the road working Congress, Judge Jackson held a ten minute hearing to set the timetable for the remedies phase. His scheduling order gives the DoJ and the plaintiff states until 25 April to file their proposed form of permanent injunction. However, in the event that the states cannot agree with the DoJ, they are given until the 28 April "at the latest" to file their single version. There's no clue as to whether there is any significant difference between the likely proposals of the plaintiffs, or even between the states. The judge made it clear that he would prefer a single proposal, but he had to issue an order that allowed for disagreement. Microsoft than has until 10 May to respond, object, and file any counter-proposal, together with its recommendations for how "future proceedings on the issue of remedy" should proceed. The DoJ and plaintiff states may reply by 17 May, and a hearing will be held on 24 May. It is not yet known if there will be witnesses, but if they are requested by either side, there's every reason to suppose that this would be allowed. It would therefore seem likely that the judge may issue his final order around the end of May or in June. Judge Jackson is not bound to follow either side's submissions, and has previously decided on a course of action not requested by the DoJ in an earlier case. The judge's effort to persuade Microsoft to give him a copy of its final negotiating position failed. There had been some misunderstanding about Judge Jackson's remarks at Tuesday's hearing as to whether sending the matter to the Supreme Court was an immediate plan. It appeared that the Antitrust Expediting Act would not allow the case to be sent to the Supreme Court before remedies had been ordered. Clearly the judge is concerned with the effect on the economy, but there is no option than for him to decide the remedies before the case is sent to appeal. ® Complete Register Trial coverage

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