Microsoft and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are unlikely to agree terms in the US governments long-running antitrust case, according to sources in the US.
Despite starting talks last week aimed at settling the antitrust case, the US Department of Justice is pressing ahead to devise potential repairs to the company’s alleged wrongs.
The Justice Department hired Greenhill and Co, a New York investment firm, to advise it on remedies, the department confirmed.
Neither Microsoft nor the Justice Department would comment last week about the start of settlement talks here, mediated by court-appointed referee Judge Richard Posner.
The parties met at the urging of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the judge overseeing the government's case against Microsoft. Judge Jackson said several times during the trial that he would like to see the case settled, but the vendor and the government haven't been able to come to terms yet.
Some observers doubt a settlement will happen, despite statements from both sides that they would like to settle. "What people say in public and private may be two different things, but I don't think they will come together," said Yee Wah Chin, an antitrust lawyer at Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent & Sheinfeld LLP in New York.
Meanwhile, federal antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft continue to sprout. Consumers, hopeful for class action status, recently filed cases in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Washington D.C. They joined similar suits in Alabama, Louisiana and New York. All claim Microsoft has routinely overcharged consumers. A Microsoft spokesman called the suits "groundless."
In related news, reports indicate that Microsoft has made a series of managerial and departmental changes towards the end of last week, including the creation of a Small Business division. Some see this as a pre-emptive step to make a break-up of the company harder to achieve.