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Judge Rejects Latest Microsoft Request

Even stateside, court rulings aren't going Microsoft's way.

In the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts today, Judge D.J. Wolf granted Novell's motion to quash Microsoft's subpoena for information that Novell gave the European Commission (EC) in its antitrust case, according to documents obtained by internetnews.com.

In March 2004, the EC ruled that Microsoft abused its dominant market position by refusing to disclose interoperability information and by tying its Windows Media Player to its Windows PC operating system.

Last December, the commission decided that Microsoft had so far failed to comply with the 2004 original ruling and issued a Statement of Objections against the company.

In court, Microsoft argued that the Statement of Objections was based on information from its competitors.

Seeking to fight the objection, Microsoft subpoenaed one of those competitors, Novell, for the information it gave the commission.

Wolf disagreed with Microsoft's argument the commission couldn't have provided the subpoenaed information if it had wanted to.

"Microsoft erroneously, repeatedly represented that the commission of the European Communities could not obtain, and if it wished, make available to Microsoft the documents Microsoft seeks by its subpoena," Wolf wrote in his decision.

Further, Wolf agreed with the EC's opinion that the subpoena was Microsoft's effort to undercut the commission's authority.

Wolf saw no reason to let that happen.

"Microsoft has not demonstrated that the commission's procedures are fundamentally unfair," Wolf wrote.