States still divided on Microsoft breakup

According to attorneys for several of the states involved in the Microsoft antitrust case, not everyone is all that excited about the possibility of a Microsoft breakup. Previous reports alleged that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the 19 states allied against Microsoft had finally settled on a final solution to the Microsoft problem--a breakup of the company into two or more separate entities--but it seems that this news was a bit premature. Judge Jackson warned the attorneys last fall that he wanted to see a unified recommendation should the trial progress that far, but it's beginning to look like that won't happen unless all of the states and the DOJ can get together and come to an agreement.

"I have to tell you that my bias is toward a conduct resolution, but again it's too early to be specific," Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery told the Associated Press. "Quite frankly, I indicated to my staff when we started this lawsuit that I was not looking out for a structural solution as much as a conduct solution."

However, reports suggest that the state's opinions aren't quite as varied as Montgomery's comments suggest. Iowa AG Tom Miller says that there is no division among the states, for example. And should Microsoft be able to architect a settlement, no court-ordered remedy will be required. In the meantime, plans proceed for a unified remedial presentation should those talks completely fall apart

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