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Microsoft plans to summon witnesses to fight breakup
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By MICHAEL J. MARTINEZ
AP Business Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – Microsoft plans to ask for authority to seek
government records and subpoena witnesses to support its argument
that breaking the company in two would be going too far, a company
spokesman said today.
Jim Cullinan said he expects a long discovery process to find
out how the Justice Department came up with its “Draconian and
The company is scheduled to file its response to the agency’s
proposed remedy in the antitrust case with U.S. District Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson on May 10.
Microsoft’s general counsel, William Neukom, told The New York
Times on Monday that the effort could last “well into the fall.”
Government officials say Microsoft is stalling, possibly to
delay a ruling on a remedy until the next presidential
administration takes office.
In theory, a new administration could settle or drop the federal
case at any time. But the parallel case brought by 19 state
attorneys general who are the Justice Department’s partners in the
case would remain active, and the attorneys general have repeatedly
said they will persevere.
The Justice Department and 17 of the attorneys general filed
their proposal on Friday to split the company in two, with one
company holding the Windows operating system and the other
producing Microsoft’s application programs.
The judge is not bound to accept Microsoft’s request. He has
said he wants to complete the remedy phase quickly. Microsoft made
a similar request for months of delay to prepare for the opening of
the trial two years ago, and Jackson rejected it.
Microsoft argues that the government’s breakup proposal will
make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for the company to
develop innovative products that result from putting together a
wide range of software technologies.