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Europe could give Microsoft verdict soon

Secret meeting last month

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The European Court of First Instance could deliver its verdict on Microsoft's appeal of its anti-trust ruling before the summer recess.

The last possible date for the arrival of the verdict is 17 September - the last working day before Bo Vesterdorf, president of the court, retires.

But a secret meeting at the end of the last month suggested the verdict could be made public before that.

One of the attendees told The Register: "It's probably going to be sooner. The powers-that-be are keeping quiet, and with all these things there are lots of events behind the scenes, but we could see something before the summer break."

The meeting heard a verdict was likely in a few weeks. Another attendee at the meeting, which was held under the Chatham House rule, would only say that there was a general consensus that the verdict would be announced "sooner than 17 September". Another attendee said they expected a verdict in either July or September.

The court, and the Competition Commission, take a summer break from 18 July until 29 August. Although it is not impossible that a verdict would be announced during this recess it is considered by sources to be unlikely.

The court met for a week in April 2006 to hear Microsoft appeal the anti-trust judgement, which hit them with a record-breaking €497m fine and structural remedies. A verdict was originally expected in late summer 2006. ®

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