The ongoing antitrust case against Microsoft continued yesterday after the ruling judge decreed that the nine prosecuting US states had the right to oppose the settlement reached last year between the company and the government.
Microsoft had claimed in February that the case was flawed because a settlement had already been reached with the federal government.
However, District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that the states did have the right to pursue tougher antitrust sanctions against the Redmond giant.
Microsoft is to call its first witnesses to the stand today claiming that the case is being driven by arch rivals AOL Time Warner and Sun Microsystems.
"The US finds no definitive case law that would require granting the relief Microsoft seeks as a matter of law," said the Justice Department.
But the Department also told the nine states to be careful in their legal action, warning that it "is not an appropriate vehicle for pursuing the interest of private individuals or commercial entities".
The nine states have maintained that last year's antitrust settlement between the software manufacturer and the US government did not do enough to check Microsoft's market dominance and protect smaller IT companies.
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