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Microsoft's Babysitters To Work Overtime

The court charged with policing Microsoft’s 2002 antitrust settlement with the U.S. government has extended its oversight of the company until November of 2009, an additional two years.

Most of the watchdogs were supposed to be called off this past November.

However, late last year 10 states, led by California and New York, that were party to the original suit asked Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to extend the supervision of Microsoft until 2012. Her decision has been pending ever since and the consent decree remained in effect pst its expiration date.

The Justice Department, the prime mover in the suit, on the other hand, wanted the controls to expire.

The judge said her decision was based on Microsoft’s failure to produce protocol documentation on time for the IP it was supposed to license to third parties. She claimed it wasn't to be regarded as a "sanction" against Microsoft while in the same breath indicating that the issue of extended oversight could be revisited in 2009.

A similar shortcoming in Europe cost Microsoft a packet of money. There it was said the documentation it initially produced was unusable. And the European Commission, of course, has recently opened two new antitrust investigations of Microsoft.


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