Microsoft, DOJ Oppose Calif. Plaintiffs

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-02-11 Print this article Print

Attorneys for Microsoft Corp. and the Department of Justice on Monday filed memoranda asking Washington D.C. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to reject a Jan. 28 motion from a group of California plaintiffs to either intervene in the Tunney Act

Attorneys for Microsoft Corp. and the Department of Justice on Monday filed memoranda asking Washington D.C. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to reject a Jan. 28 motion from a group of California plaintiffs to either intervene in the Tunney Act settlement proceedings currently before the court or to file an Amicus Curiae (friend of the Court) brief. The requests for intervention come as Kollar-Kotelly reviews the Microsoft Corp./U.S. Department of Justice antitrust settlement proposal and before she begins hearing a parallel case for tougher remedies brought by nine states that rejected the settlement deal.
The California plaintiffs are the same group that has brought private antitrust actions against Microsoft for damages and which was successful in helping convince Maryland Federal District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz to reject a proposed settlement plan for the 100-odd private, class-action antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft.
These private antitrust cases were mostly brought last year following the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that the Redmond, Wash., company had violated two sections of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In its seven-page filing today, Microsoft said the California plaintiffs "have brought their own action in California state court against Microsoft seeking damages, and rulings by the Court of Appeals and this Court may or may not have some relevance in that case in the future. That, however, is a matter to be addressed in due course by the California courts. "The California Plaintiffs have no property interest in this action, and all of the matters the California Plaintiffs raise have been submitted to the United States as comments and will be available to the public and to the Court pursuant to the Tunney Act comment procedures in this case. No right to further participation exists," it said. As such, both Microsoft and the DOJ opposed the motions and asked the Judge to deny them. This latest round of filings in the landmark antitrust case follows those last week where the author and inventor of an economic method for preventing collusion used his company, Relpromax Antitrust Inc., to file motions allowing the firm to participate as a "friend of the Court" and for an extension of time in the Tunney Act proceedings. But more such memoranda are likely given that the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has also asked the court for leave to intervene or participate as amicus curiae for "the limited purpose of responding to certain procedural proposals in the joint status report." The Project to Promote Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age (ProComp) has also filed a motion for limited intervention or Tunney Act participation, while SBC Communications, Inc has also asked the court for permission to intervene for a limited purpose or, in the alternative to appear as a friend of the court. Related stories:
  • Dissenting States Slam Microsoft Delay Tactics
  • Judge Sets Date For Microsoft Settlement Hearing
  • Special Report: Microsoft vs. DOJ
    Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

    He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

    He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

    He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

    He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

    He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

    His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

    For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


    Submit a Comment

    Loading Comments...
    Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

    Rocket Fuel