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Judge Legal set aside in MS antitrust case

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Microsoft's EU antitrust case has been moved to The Grand Chamber, according to reports, where the company's appeal will be heard by a new panel of 13 judges. The case was taken away from Judge Hubert Legal, and he is to have no further involvement in the proceedings.

Legal originally oversaw the panel of five judges that had been dealing with the appeal. Now 13 judges will have to decide whether or not to uphold, even in part, the Commission's original ruling against the software firm, which saw the company ordered to open its protocols to competitors and hit with a hefty fine.

An unnamed court official told Reuters: "I can confirm that the case has been moved to the Grand Chamber".

The same report claims, again citing unnamed sources, that Judge Legal was removed because an article he wrote annoyed fellow judges. Judge Bo Vesterdorf first proposed that Legal should be removed, after the article was published.

In the article, Legal suggested that law clerks might have inappropriate influence on some judges. He also used the phrase "ayatollahs of free enterprise", in connection with these same officials. ®

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