A federal judge has denied a request by computer and software makers to appeal an antitrust settlement among Microsoft Corp., the Bush administration and several states.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said two trade associations had failed to justify their appeal, but could pursue their own antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft. In her Saturday ruling, she cited the recent case in Baltimore brought by Sun Microsystems. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
The Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Software and Information Industry Association argued last month that they should be allowed to intervene in the case against Microsoft to ensure that “the remedy in this case restores effective competition.” The two groups include Microsoft customers and rivals such as Sun and AOL Time Warner.
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said he had no comment on the ruling. He said the company was focused on meeting its obligations under the antitrust settlement.
The trade associations said Monday they had no immediate comment.
The industry groups also have been lobbying European antitrust officials to seek harsh penalties in their pending case against Microsoft.
In November, Kollar-Kotelly approved the sweeping U.S. government settlement with Microsoft. She rejected arguments by nine states that tougher sanctions were needed to restore competition in the technology industry. Seven of those states decided against appealing her decision, and Microsoft agreed to pay them $25 million in legal reimbursements.
Massachusetts and West Virginia are still seeking tougher penalties.
In a separate case, Microsoft reached a $1.1 billion settlement last week with consumers in California who accused the software giant of violating the state’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.
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