Microsoft Stay Denied
While Microsoft's request for a Supreme Court hearing is pending review, the Federal Appeals Court that upheld eight antitrust violations has denied the company's request for a stay. The ruling cited Microsoft's failure to demonstrate that any substantial harm that would result from the reactivation proceedings in the district court. A new judge will be assigned at random to begin deliberation on a remedy for the company's anti-competitive practices. Microsoft continues to press for judicial review, and seeks to hammer out a settlement in lieu of a court mandated penalty.
Siding with the Department of Justice, the ruling stated, "It appears that Microsoft has misconstrued our opinion, particularly with respect to what would have been required to justify vacating the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law." Subsequently, the court decided to move onto the next phase of litigation against the company, calling for proceedings to resume in seven days. Microsoft still holds firm that the appearance of bias mandates that the decision be vacated entirely.
In a prepared statement, Justice Department Spokesperson Gina Talamona expressed the government's exhilaration saying, "We are pleased with the court's decision and look forward to proceedings in the district court." A coalition of 18 states and the DOJ are seeking a rapid and firm conclusion to the case on the heels of the upcoming release of Windows XP.
In response to the day's events, Microsoft Spokeperson Jim Desler told BetaNews, "While we believed the process was best served through a stay, we are prepared to move ahead with getting the remaining issues in the case resolved as we await word on Supreme Court review. We will move forward with a case that has been significantly narrowed with many of the district judge’s findings against the company rejected. We are committed to resolving the remaining issues in this case through settlement."
Today's decision comes as a setback for Microsoft as it continues to fight off its legal woes.