The American Antitrust Institute Inc. in Washington asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Department of Justice from closing the public comment period in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust settlement case.
The 60-day comment period originally was scheduled to close Jan. 28, but AAI charges that Microsoft and the DOJ did not fully comply with disclosure requirements under the Tunney Act. On Jan. 24, AAI filed a complaint claiming that the parties had not complied with the disclosure requirements. Injunctive relief is necessary to preserve the status quo until the court can determine whether the parties did comply, the institute said.
"Otherwise, the settlement of the Microsoft case may become a fait accompli before this Court determines the merits of AAIs claims that the parties have violated the Tunney Act" AAI said in its motion.
AAI asked the court to hold a hearing on the preliminary injunction motion within 20 days.
Earlier in the week, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered Microsoft and DOJ to file a joint report outlining how they preferred to proceed with the Tunney Act process. The judge told the parties to let her know by Feb. 7 whether they are considering modifying the proposed settlement, what kind of written filings they will supply in support of the proposal, and whether there should be evidentiary hearing or other hearings in the proceeding. They must appear before the judge on Feb. 8.
Today, Kollar-Kotelly deconsolidated the Justice Departments settlement case from the ongoing litigation pursued by nine states because "recent proceedings in the two cases have taken divergent paths"