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Despite Bill Gates' assertion that Microsoft will never split, he has been offloading shares at quite a rate.

Both he and co-founder, Paul Allen both sold a large number of shares in the run up to the court decision to split the company last week. Gates may have to get rid ofl even more of his stake in the company if it is finally split.

The shares have steadily fallen in value since 30 December when they hit an all time high. In the past year, Allen has sold almost a quarter of his holdings in the software giant with almost half of these being since it became clear that a split was on the cards.

There has been no suggestion that either has broken insider trading regulations by selling their shares. Microsoft was worth around £200 billion last night, down from £235 billion at the end of last year.®

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