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Microsoft forms committee to oversee its actions

Microsoft has named three members of its antitrust compliance committee, an initial step in complying with court-ordered sanctions designed to keep the software maker's behaviour in check.

Microsoft appointed three of its board members to the committee on Friday (8 November), following last week's decision by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the US government's antitrust case against the company.

As part of her decision, Kollar-Kotelly ordered Microsoft to create a group of internal watchdogs that would help ensure that Microsoft follows orders laid down by the court.

The committee must always include not less than three members who are neither present nor former company employees. Microsoft's board of directors passed a resolution on Friday to form the committee.

James Cash, a Microsoft board member and Harvard professor, will serve as chairman of the antitrust compliance committee. Raymond Gilmartin, a Microsoft board member and the chairman, chief executive officer and president of Merck, will also be on the committee. Ann McLaughlin Korologos, a former US secretary of labour and a Microsoft board member, is the third member.

The compliance committee is required to hire a compliance officer who will report to both the committee and to Microsoft's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer.

"I want to be clear that we have heard both those who have supported us and those who have criticised us," Ballmer said following last week's decision. "Compliance is both a corporate commitment and a personal responsibility for all our employees".

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