RealTime IT News

Microsoft Antitrust Settlement Extended

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly officially signed off Thursday on a two-year extension of the communications protocol licensing program portion of Microsoft's landmark antitrust agreement with the government.

As previously reported by internetnews.com, both Microsoft and the Department of Justice (DoJ) formally agreed to the extension on Aug. 30.

Although the original agreement is set to expire next year, issues over documentation prompted the extension.

In addition to the two-year extension, Microsoft agreed the DoJ may file for another three-year extension when the deal expires in 2009.

The DoJ said the extension is not a result of any failure by Microsoft to comply with the final consent decree. Microsoft agreed a broader "reset" of the consent decree timeline was appropriate for the documentation issues.

"The United States and [Microsoft] concluded that it was necessary to extend the term of the final judgment as it relates to communications protocol licensing in order to ensure that this portion ... is given a full opportunity to succeed," the DoJ stated in its Aug. 30 filing to Kollar-Kotelly.

The DoJ filing also notes the modifications "do not relieve Microsoft of any of its obligations."

The original settlement mandates Microsoft provide to competitors documentation to use certain Microsoft technology in their own server products.

In status reports to the court filed by the DoJ since the original settlement, the government has complained about the quality of Microsoft's documentation and the length of time it has taken to produce the material.