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Will the MS judge OK the DoJ deal? Aha…

Maybe a hint, maybe not...

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The judge in the Microsoft case might just be inclined to reject the settlement being proposed by Microsoft and the Department of Justice. Or not. The late Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's opinions became abundantly clear as his tenure of the trial clanked along, but Judge 2.0, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, is in the happy position of not having had to express an opinion of any sort so far. Trial watchers are therefore reduced to puzzling over the scant entrails of her comments.

She has asked the parties for a status report late next week, but has also asked them to include a summation of the "tone" of public comment (the comment period ended on Monday), and if they are proposing to make changes in the settlement in light of the comment.

A hint, or not? It's thin stuff, but until CK-K speaks it's about all we have to go on. Some years back, you may recall, there was a judge in a similar situation, presented with an MS-DoJ deal for signing. Judge Stanley Sporkin however went ballistic, declined to sign it off, but the deal was finally shoved through by the unholy alliance anyway.

This time around the Microsoft camp has been busily whipping up support, while the other side has been equally busily denouncing the settlement. It is not yet clear how many, if any, normal members of the public commented off their own bat, without the aid of incentivisation, cajolling or form letters. Probably not very many.

Meanwhile, the refusenik states who declined to join in the DoJ deal are scheduled for a remedies hearing before Judge CK-K on 11th March. There was some controversy earlier this week over whether or not the press would be allowed to attend the taking of the depositions, but the conclusion (sort of yes and no) doesn't actually change much in terms of what will and will not be made public during the trial. ®

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