Sunday, November 28, 2004

Early Christmas Present for Microsoft from the EU?

This from Friday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

"Microsoft Corp., which was ruled an illegal monopolist by the European Union in March, will learn next month whether it can wait years before complying with an EU order to sell a stripped-down version of Windows and disclose information on the operating system to competitors.

"Judge Bo Vesterdorf is expected to decide by Dec. 20 whether to suspend the EU order for Microsoft to change business practices and pay a $646 million fine, lawyers said.

"Vesterdorf called a half-hour informal meeting at the European Court of First Instance in the latest twist in the standoff between the executive commission of the 25-nation EU and the software maker.

"The meeting focused on the decision by EU backers Novell Inc. and the Computer and Communications Industry Association to pull out of the case after reaching deals with Microsoft on Nov. 8.

"The judge wanted to know to what extent, if any, the defections changed the ongoing case.

"All sides agreed yesterday that the testimony of the companies would stand. "

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