In a hearing on Thursday, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rejected Microsoft?s motion to have a number of charges eliminated from the Department of Justice?s antitrust case against the company.
The case, brought in May, was based mainly on Microsoft?s behaviour in the browser market, where it is accused of having abused its Windows monopoly to hurt its rival, Netscape.
But in recent weeks, the government has added accusations that concern other markets and other competitors. These include Microsoft?s dealings with Apple and Intel concerning multimedia technology, and alleged attempts to sabotage the Java market.
The government is hoping to show a pattern of monopolistic behaviour, but Microsoft said the new charges are unrelated to the original case and asked that evidence concerning these allegations should be excluded from the case.
On Wednesday, Microsoft filed a detailed brief with the Federal District Court, listing its arguments in support of this motion.
But the judge rejected this demand after a brief hearing on Thursday. However, each of the disputed allegations could still be eliminated as it arises in the trial, which is now scheduled to start on 15 October.
Microsoft claims that Thursday?s decision will have little or no impact. ?The judge essentially postponed the decision," said Microsoft spokesperson Adam Sohn. ?He said he would take these [accusations] case by case during the trial."
He added: ?We feel these are groundless accusations, and that they are being injected by the government at the eleventh hour because they have seen their case crumble over the last few months."
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