Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wasted no time shooting down Microsoft's request to delay until summer the remedial phase of its antitrust appeal. Yesterday morning, at a hearing in Washington, D.C., the judge announced that she will stick to her original schedule of hearings beginning in March, despite complaints from Microsoft that the nine dissenting US states have dramatically expanded the range of possible sanctions the company now faces. The company says that it will need more time to respond to the states' more drastic remedy proposals.
"The schedule is still workable and I'm expecting the parties to adhere to it," Kollar-Kotelly said after listening briefly to Microsoft's argument. She also refused to limit the scope of the remedies she will consider, an indication that she will implement at least some of the states' remedies. When Microsoft complained that the states' proposed remedies were excessive, Kollar-Kotelly disagreed, stating that they were "still within the universe of what this case is about."
The decision means that Microsoft will face two sets of remedial hearings in the coming days: one to decide whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement serves the public interest and a second to consider whether to impose any of the restrictions that the nine US states demanded after they refused to sign the DOJ settlement. Kollar-Kotelly says she will hold another hearing in February to ensure that everything is progressing properly.