Microsoft argued that the trial court made a mistake in finding the software giant guilty of monopolistic practices, in a filing to the US Court of Appeals yesterday.
In the 75-page brief, Microsoft lawyers claimed evidence presented at its previous trial was "certainly not sufficient" to justify breaking up the company.
Attorneys also claimed that the US government is continuing to move away from its argument that the company tried to illegally bundle Windows 95 and 98 with Internet Explorer.
In the filing, Microsoft pointed out evidence of continued competition in the browser market in 1998, and argued that the government has not shown that the company had "monopoly power" or engaged in anti-competitive conduct.
"This is not the story of a stagnant, dominated industry. The district court ignored competitive realities that require Microsoft to innovate and price its software attractively. Nothing Microsoft did excluded Netscape from the marketplace," argued company attorneys.
The brief also attacked US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's decision to order a break-up of the company.
"The district judge's public comments about the merits of the case and his attacks on Microsoft are indefensible. Such comments demonstrate an animus towards Microsoft so strong that it inevitably infected his rulings," the brief said.
The filing largely repeated arguments that Microsoft has already presented in its appeal, including its assertion that the numerous interviews Jackson gave before he issued the break-up order is a reason to overturn his decision.
"We believe our appeal presents a strong case for reversal of the district court judgment," said Microsoft spokesman, Jim Cullinan.
The US Department of Justice and 19 states brought the antitrust case in May 1998, and in June 1999 Microsoft was found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour and ordered to be split in two. The US Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments on 26 and 27 February in Microsoft's appeal against the break-up order.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest brief.
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