Microsoft was dealt a further blow yesterday when it was compared with the oil monopoly run by John Rockefeller by the judge in charge of the software giant's antitrust case.
Following the restart of the trial yesterday, both sides were able to put across their last-ditch arguments to Judge Thomas Jackson. Jackson said he did not understand Microsoft's copyright ownership, adding that "Rockefeller had fee-simple control over his oil."
Standard Oil, owned by Rockefeller, was broken up in 1912 by US courts because of anti-competitive behaviour.
During yesterday's hearing Judge Jackson continually interrupted Microsoft counsel John Warden, even accusing him of evading questions.
The judge previously ruled in November that Microsoft has abused its monopoly position. Microsoft's attorneys insisted in a statement issued after the trial that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Steve Baller, the company's president and chief executive, were personally involved in settlement discussions.
It is unclear when the judge will make his ruling, although observers said that Judge Jackson will rule on the case in spring unless a settlement is reached.
If Microsoft is found in violation of the antitrust laws, it is expected that a number of changes will be imposed on the software giant. Microsoft has reiterated that if the changes are unacceptable it will appeal the ruling.
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