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U.S. federal appeals court opens hearing on MS case

Posted February. 27, 2001 19:17,   


The U.S. Federal Court of Appeals opened on Tuesday a two-day hearing on the antitrust case against Microsoft (MS), the world`s largest software maker.

On the first day of the hearing, seven judges heard oral arguments from the government and MS.

Attorneys representing the U.S. Federal Government and 19 state governments contended that MS was definitely in violation of the anti-trust law when it concluded unfair contracts with computer companies in an attempt to maintain its monopolistic market position. In response, MS claimed that it did not carve up the market share of its rival, Netscape, through its contracts with computer distribution companies and described as unfair the U.S. District Court`s directive to split the company in two.

Microsoft is challenging a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson last June, who upheld charges by the Justice Department last April and ordered the company`s division into two firms, one producing operating systems and the other making software programs.

During the court hearing, the two sides are expected to wage a war of words over whether Jackson was biased when he issued the directive. Experts predicted that the court dispute over MS would continue for a long time to come.

Yoon Yang-Sup lailai@donga.com