Tech Industry

Judge squelches case against Microsoft

Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the federal judge overseeing the software maker's antitrust settlement, rules against a nonprofit group that sought to block the deal.

The federal judge overseeing the Microsoft antitrust settlement has ruled against a nonprofit group that had sought to block the deal.

The American Antitrust Institute filed the suit in January, alleging that Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department violated federal law by not properly disclosing all information and communications related to settlement negotiations. Microsoft, the Justice Department and nine states suing the software maker reached an agreement in November.

The AAI suit alleged violations of the Tunney Act, which requires that companies settling antitrust charges reveal all related lobbying and government communications.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled Wednesday that the group did not have any standing to file the suit. She did say, however, that she would not approve any settlement unless there was sufficient disclosure.

The Microsoft antitrust case has been percolating in recent days, as the various parties get ready for new hearings in early March.

In addition to matters related to the Justice Department settlement, nine states that were part of the original case are pressing forward with litigation against the company. Those states most recently have charged that Microsoft has used the proposed settlement to impose harsh terms on computer makers that use its software.

The judge also told Microsoft that it must reveal parts of the source code for its Windows operating systems to the litigating states.