Justice Department probes WebTV deal

The United States Justice Department is requesting additional information from Microsoft regarding their purchase of WebTV, Inc. Officials at Microsoft and the DOJ, however, are quick to point out that such information gathering is not abnormal:

"Their case is being reviewed and is continuing," Justice Department spokesman Bill Brooks said. "It's not uncommon to ask for additional information."

Microsoft executives are optimistic that their $425 million purchase of WebTV will proceed as planned.

"We are confident that, once they review the information, they will approve the transaction in short order," Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said of the probe. "Microsoft has no WebTV-like product and, therefore, there's no reduction in competition. \[In fact,\] our deal has created more competition. Oracle and Navio are merging; there's us and WebTV and other players that are providing Internet content through television. "This is an area where competition is hot and heavy and competition is growing."

Officials at WebTV are also confident the purchase will be approved. Should the deal be scuttled, however, the company will still work closely with Microsoft and move toward an IPO

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