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Antitrust watchdog group the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) will hold a press conference Thursday to announce details of a lawsuit they intend to file against Microsoft and the US Department of Justice, Reuters reports.

According to the group, both parties have held meetings and exchanged memos which have not been fully disclosed in court documents.

But according to US law, all such cross-party communications must be detailed, though MS has produced only a brief sketch, leading to the suspicion that some back-channel hustling has been concealed.

"The AAI believes both Microsoft and the DOJ have deliberately avoided the disclosure requirements of the Tunney Act process or offered incomplete or misleading information," the group says.

They may be onto something here. It does seem improbable that the DoJ could have come up with a settlement so warmly accommodating of Microsoft without considerable coaching from Redmond.

We'll bring you further details of this intriguing situation as they become available. ®

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