The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that it has hired Greenhill & Co. LLC, a New York-based consulting firm, to help it determine what remedy should be obtained when Microsoft is found guilty of violating U.S. antitrust laws. The conclusions of law are expected in January, though a settlement could forestall those findings. The DOJ said that the consulting firm would be used to analyze "financial aspects of the full range of potential remedies in U.S. v. Microsoft, including conduct and structural relief." The DOJ was quick to discount rumors that it had already decided to breakup the company should a settlement not be reached.
"This hiring doesn't indicate what we are likely to recommend in court or elsewhere," an anonymous DOJ representative told the Associated Press late Thursday. "Nor does it indicate our view of the possible outcome of any ongoing process in this case. Their advice will be useful in connection with all ongoing processes."
Meanwhile, mediation in the Microsoft antitrust case is just heating up. Lawyers from the DOJ and Microsoft met with recently appointed mediator Richard Posner on Tuesday and have scheduled further meetings in an attempt to hammer out a settlement