updated 4/16/2009 4:47:18 PM ET 2009-04-16T20:47:18

The Justice Department is asked a federal judge to extend its watch over some of Microsoft Corp.’s business practices for a second time. The government says it needs an extra year and a half to make sure Microsoft’s compliance passes muster.

Microsoft, the federal government and 17 U.S. states agreed in 2002 to settle an antitrust battle over the software maker’s use of its Windows monopoly to squash competitors.

The terms of the settlement were initially to expire in November 2007, but in January 2008 U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted a two-year extension covering parts of the agreement. Now the Justice Department wants to extend that to May 2011.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

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