US court rejects Microsoft anti-trust claim

The US courts have blocked Microsoft’s attempts to obtain documents from Novell as part of its long-running battle against an anti-trust ruling by the European Commission.

The US courts have blocked Microsoft’s attempts to obtain documents from Novell as part of its long-running battle against an anti-trust ruling by the European Commission.

Microsoft had been seeking to obtain correspondence between Novell and the EU, claiming that it needed the documents to defend itself against the commission’s ruling. It tried to subpoena the information through the US courts after attempts to obtain it from the European Commission failed.

But Boston District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Microsoft was trying to undermine EU law, saying, “Enforcing Microsoft's... subpoena to Novell would circumvent and undermine the law of the European Community concerning how a litigant may obtain third-party documents."

Last month, similar attempts by Microsoft to obtain documents from Oracle and Sun Microsystems also failed. The courts are yet to rule on a subpoena against IBM.

Microsoft faces a daily fine of £1.4m for failing to comply with a 2004 European Commission anti-trust ruling. Although it has complied with other conditions laid down by the commission, the software giant is still locked in a battle over the demand that it release documentation for its workgroup server protocols in an acceptable format.

Microsoft is due to appeal against the European Commission ruling at a week-long hearing later this month.

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