Hearing Set After Microsoft Rivals Quit

The judge considering Microsoft Corp.'s appeal against European Union sanctions has called a closed meeting for Thursday to decide what action to take after two more major opponents of the U.S. software giant withdrew from the case. Novell Inc. and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) removed themselves from the lawsuit after Microsoft, maker of the dominant Windows operating system, agreed to pay each of them substantial sums in settlements.

A source familiar with the case said Microsoft had paid about $20 million to the CCIA, of which about $10 million went to the association's president, Ed Black. A Microsoft spokesman said the money was for CCIA as a whole and "it was of course up to the CCIA board to decide how to use the money it received from the company." Microsoft said the CCIA payment was "a reimbursement for certain legal and related expenditures that it had incurred," and it had no idea of how the money would be allocated. Vesterdorf called Thursday's meeting after two days of hearings on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 to consider suspending European Commission sanctions that would force Microsoft to sell a version of Windows without its Media Player audiovisual software.

News source: Reuters

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