Microsoft Takes Case Back before Jackson

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Microsoft returns to court today, hoping to get an indication of how seriously a federal judge is considering a government plan that would break up the software giant as a remedy for breaking the law.

Microsoft will face a bevy of government attorneys during a hearing scheduled before U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who oversaw the 78-day antitrust trial in a case brought by the Justice Department and 19 state attorneys general.

Last month, Jackson ruled that Microsoft violated federal antitrust law by using illegal methods to protect its monopoly in the computer operating systems. The company also tried to expand its dominance into the market for Internet browsers, the judge found. Microsoft plans to appeal the ruling.

Today's hearing is intended to help Jackson determine the best remedy to impose against Microsoft to restore competition in the software industry.

The Justice Department, along with 17 of the 19 states, is urging Jackson to split Microsoft into two companies. One would develop the Windows operating system, which dominates the personal computer market worldwide and was found by Jackson to be the source of Microsoft's monopoly. …