Microsoft asks court to close depositions

Software giant Microsoft has asked the US District Court judge overseeing the ongoing antitrust case against the software maker...

Software giant Microsoft has asked the US District Court judge overseeing the ongoing antitrust case against the software maker to vacate a previous order that will allow the depositions in the lawsuit to be open to the public.

Microsoft argued in a court document because the case now involves only the nine states and the District of Columbia that refused to sign a proposed settlement agreed by Microsoft, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine other state attorneys general, the previous ruling no longer applies.

The ordered public depositions involve a federal statute that pertains only to cases in which the US government is a plaintiff, the court document said.

Now that the DOJ has agreed to settle its antitrust claims against Microsoft the statute no longer applies, the company contends. The statute only applied to the states' case previously because they were part of the US government lawsuit. But the lawsuit has been split into two "tracks", with the DOJ and settling states in one track, and the nine hold-out states and the District of Columbia in the other.

The states still involved in the case do not plan to oppose the motion to vacate the order, Microsoft said in the document.

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