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October 7, 1998

MS TRIAL COULD BE DELAYED; DOJ HINTS AT MORE SANCTIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

It now looks as if the start of the Microsoft antitrust trial will be delayed again, following a filing by the Justice Department which seeks to have the proceedings moved back from October 15 to October 19. The shift would allow both sides to have an extra four days before pre-trial deadlines for the submission of testimony gathered during the pre-trial period. The DOJ also indicated in its filing that if it wins the case, a separate hearing may be necessary to determine what additional sanctions may be necessary to keep the company in check and avoid future violations of antitrust legislation. Depending on the nature and scope of the violations determined by the court at trial, plaintiffs will seek such additional permanent relief as is necessary to restore competitive conditions and to prevent Microsoft from committing similar violations in the future, the DOJ filing said. To that end, plaintiffs may request that the court conduct additional proceedings for the purpose of hearing evidence concerning such additional relief, it continued. No specifics on the additional sanctions were divulged. The October 15 start date for the eagerly-anticipated trial was already the result of a three-week delay, at the request of both sides, which was announced last month. The latest delay, if it is approved by Judge Thomas Jackson, would be the third over all.

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