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September 30, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

The judge presiding over Microsoft Corp’s antitrust case has ruled that Oracle Corp must hand over documents related to actual agreements it signed with seven specific companies but denied Microsoft’s request that it be forced to release information about any proposed or abandoned deals as well. Microsoft was looking for any information about Oracle’s discussions with others concerning the bundling of Netscape Communications Corp’s browser with Oracle software. Through the production of such evidence, Microsoft hopes to prove that meetings, alliances and exclusive product agreements – such as those Microsoft is accused to have engaged in with a number of companies – are the norm in the computer industry. As a result of Jackson’s decision, Oracle has until October 9 to produce documents on its signed agreements with Netscape, IBM Corp, Compaq Computer Corp, Apple Computer Inc, Novell Inc, Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co. Separately, Microsoft is engaged in a battle with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, demanding research on Netscape carried out by two professors from the schools who co-authored a book on the company. Microsoft wants the information, which reportedly contains admissions of business mistakes on Netscape’s part, to bolster its defense against the government. The two schools are fighting the company’s demands, arguing that it violates their constitutional rights.

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