New Mexico Settles with Microsoft

  07/21/2001 6:45:13 AM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

Our home state, New Mexico has settled their Antitrust case with Microsoft.
  On Thursday, July 12, 2001 - THE STATE ATTORNEY general for New Mexico said it has settled its antitrust claims against Microsoft, the first of 19 states attorneys general that filed suit against the software maker three years ago to pull out of the legal battle.

Our New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid has settled claims against Microsoft that it illegally used its monopoly power in the PC operating systems market to harm competitors in other markets, according to a spokeswoman for the attorney general. Terms of the settlement include part of any settlement from the left over 18 states, and $100,000 paid from Microsoft to the State of New Mexico for legal fees.

"It was a very simple settlement in which Microsoft agreed that New Mexico would get the benefit of anything negotiated with the Department of Justice and any remaining states," Madrid said in a telephone interview. "Microsoft also agreed to pay the attorneys' fees and costs for the state."

Late last month, the 9th District court delivered a ruling in the landmark antitrust case between Microsoft and the U.S. government, sending the case back to a lower court to be reviewed by a new judge while upholding a lower court verdict that Microsoft acted illegally to maintain its monopoly, but throwing out the Break Up Order from Jackson.

New Mexico's decision cames one day after Microsoft agreed to allow PC manufacturers to remove Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser Shortcut and Icons from Windows and include software from rival companies to show up on Windows PCs. This actually goes hand in hand with AOL Time Warner not having reached an agreement with Microsoft for Windows to ship with an AOL Icon, now AOL can easily do this without an agreement with Microsoft.

Many of the remaining 18 states are in strong opposition to Microsoft still. The Justice Department and 18 state attorneys general asked the U.S. District Court of Appeals on July 13 to send the case back to the trial court quickly, bypassing the typical 52-day period the appeals court has to move the case.

Microsoft had 10 days to respond to the government filing, and on Friday the 13th of July, requested that the court "deny plaintiffs' motion for immediate issuance of the mandate." The filing also noted that Microsoft is still considering asking the Supreme Court to review the case.

On Wednesday the 17th of July 2001, Microsoft filed its own petition with the appeals court to rehear a narrow portion of the case that has to do with a court decision that Microsoft illegally "commingled" its Internet Explorer (IE) software code with software code used for other purposes in certain files in the Windows 98 operating system.

Microsoft argued that "critical evidence was overlooked -- or misinterpreted," by the appeals court. A day later, the court ordered the government plaintiffs to respond to Microsoft's petition for rehearing on or before Aug. 3. Microsoft said in Friday's filing that the court should investigate its appeals for a rehearing before it considers the motion from the government.

August 3rd is my birthday and I'll be 23. I'll keep you posted on the case, even though it's my Birthday.

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