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MS Judge may consider stronger medicine

Hearing scheduled for March

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US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled a hearing in early March to enable Microsoft and the DoJ to join hands and sing their little a capella tune of support for the settlement they reached, Reuters reports.

Both plaintiff and defendant have asked that the hearing be a perfunctory one-day revue and that critics of the deal be barred from chiming in. But the judge gave no indication that she's inclined to limit the festivities to a single day or that she's going to entertain MS and DoJ shysters exclusively.

"I see the structure of the hearing as sort of an evolving process," the wire service quotes her as saying.

So for now, the possibility exists that the nine holdout states will get a chance to explain in federal court why the settlement is essentially a farce.

The judge has also asked both MS and DoJ if they plan to revise the settlement in light of the public comments received. It would not be too much of a stretch to take that as a hint that the judge is somewhat less enthusiastic about the deal than the principal parties. ®

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