Microsoft antitrust judge throws out two appeals

The judge in the US government antitrust case against Microsoft has rejected that two attempts to appeal against the case.

The judge in the US government antitrust case against Microsoft has rejected that two attempts to appeal against the case.

US district judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied two motions to intervene for purposes of appeal, one from Consumers for Computing Choice (CCC), and the other from Robert Litan, vice-president and director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington think tank.

CCC filed the motion in December, arguing that the proposed settlement between Microsoft, the US Department of Justice and several states did not go far enough in opening Microsoft source code to outside developers and as a result would harm customers.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled that CCC did not have enough of a "personal stake" in the outcome of the case to warrant an appeal. A "generalised grievance shared in substantially equal measure by all or a large class of citizens" is not enough of a legal standing to appeal a federal antitrust case, she wrote.

CCC also "failed to demonstrate that its interests were not adequately represented by the parties", the judge added, using the same arguments in denying Litan his chance to appeal.

Neither Litan nor James Turner, a consumer interest lawyer who heads the CCC, was available for comment yesterday.

The antitrust settlement, which Kollar-Kotelly approved in November, prohibits Microsoft from retaliating against computer makers or independent software makers that consider "developing, distributing, promoting, using, selling or licensing any software that competes with Microsoft platform software or any product or service that distributes or promotes any non-Microsoft middleware."

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