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The district court of Massachusetts has rejected Microsoft's attempt to get hold of documents which rival firm Novell gave to the European Commission.

Microsoft tried to subpoena Novell to get documents to bolster its appeal against the European Commission's antitrust case. The EC ruled back in 2004 that Microsoft was guilty of anticompetitive behaviour by using its near monopoly in PC operating systems to influence the market for server software and media players.

In March the Commission refused requests by Microsoft for documents from Oracle, Sun and Novell. Microsoft then turned to the US court system to get the papers.

The district court in California rejected subpoenas to get information from Sun and Oracle in March. A judge in New York is still deciding whether IBM should hand over documents.

Chief Judge Mark L Wolf, who originally said he favoured Microsoft, complained that the software giant "erroneously, repeatedly" told him the EC did not have the right to get the documents. Wolf said in his judgement: "Enforcing Microsoft's...subpoena to Novell would circumvent and undermine the law of the European Community concerning how a litigant may obtain third-party documents..."

More from Reuters here.

Microsoft and the EC are back in court next week. The Register will have a reporter in court in Luxembourg all week so stay tuned for updates.®

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