Is it case closed for Microsoft

Unless one side or another decides to appeal, a decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Friday could mark the final chapter in a case once said to be a definitive one for antitrust law in the 21st century.

Neither Microsoft, the U.S. Justice Department, nor the group of states that signed on to what is now an official settlement has a strong incentive to continue the case. For his part, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called Friday's decision a "major victory for consumers."

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith suggested the company was content with the judge's decision. "There's nothing that we've read so far that leads us to believe we're likely to file an appeal," Smith said in an interview.

That leaves the states that have refused to settle. Those are California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and West Virginia, along with the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters, attorneys general for the nonsettling states wouldn't say what they would do next. But in what may hint at the course of action the states are contemplating, California attorney general Bill Lockyer said, "We're all, on both sides of this fight, fatigued."

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News source: ZDNet

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