In a controversial finale to its long drawn-out antitrust case, Microsoft has refused the judge's request to concede some ground to the nine states suing the company.
When asked by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly whether it could accept even any of the "least onerous" requests from the nine states, Microsoft stood firm, labelling the proposed sanctions as "fundamentally flawed".
The nine states identified the need to have open programmer access to Microsoft's code for its Windows operating system as the most pressing demand, thus allowing rival software to work on the platform.
Microsoft claimed victimisation in the case "by people who would benefit by its changes", and would not concede ground.
The company defended itself by saying that the monopoly it was accused of wielding was not its "preferred form of industrial organisation".
For their part, attorneys for the nine prosecuting states said that Microsoft and its executives had used "thuggish-like tactics" during the case, and mocked the company's leading lights, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
Kollar-Kotelly now has to decide whether or not to allow some or all of the sanctions propsed by the states to be brought in, and may well postpone making a decision until the end of the year.
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