RealTime IT News

Judge Hands States Setback in Microsoft Case

The nine states which continue to pursue an antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. were handed a setback Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that she would not allow the introduction of transcripts and video interviews of 18 Microsoft officials.

The transcripts and nearly hour-long video depositions include an interview with Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. Five of those interviewed were not named as witnesses by Microsoft.

Microsoft attorney John Warden objected to the states' motion to introduce the depositions, claiming the company would have pursued its defense differently if it had known.

Kollar-Kotelly agreed, noting that the states should have included the witnesses on their original witness list.

However, she did concede the states the right to attempt to introduce some of the information during cross-examination of the 13 witnesses Microsoft did name. Still, she also said Microsoft can object to any cross-examination not based on a witness's direct testimony. She also noted that she would rule on those objections on a case-by-case basis.

The judge also said Microsoft could play portions of videotaped deposition of California Assistant Attorney General Thomas Greene. California is one of the nine states suing Microsoft.

The states are expected to rest their case Thursday and Microsoft is expected to call its first witnesses on Monday.