Microsoft had a rare good day in the antitrust trial against it on Wednesday when a judge granted the company limited access to documents relating to America Online?s (AOL) acquisition of Netscape.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson also acknowledged that the purchase might have ?an immediate impact on the market?.
?We are all aware that there has been what might be a very significant change in the playing field as far as the industry is concerned,? he said.
Although he denied Microsoft its request for full discovery on the acquisition, Big Green will be able to review documents submitted by AOL, Netscape and Sun, which has also signed a deal with Netscape (see VNU Newswire, 24 November, 1998), to the Federal authorities. The authorities need to approve the acquisition before it can go through.
But Microsoft hopes the documents will help prove its contention that it does not hold a market monopoly - a key element of the Department of Justice?s (DOJ) case against it.
The DoJ also played excerpts from the videotaped testimony of executives from Caldera, Network Computers, the Santa Cruz Operation and Packard-Bell NEC on Wednesday.
Although they all argued that browsers should remain separate from operating systems, even if the two are bundled, Microsoft still maintains that Internet Explorer is inseparable from Windows 98.
The Court has now gone into recess until 4 January.
Separately, Microsoft also announced that it would appeal last month?s injunction forcing it to modify its Java products to comply with Sun?s specifications.
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