The State of Massachusetts filed an appeal against the recent Microsoft antitrust settlement last Friday.
The state expects to pursue the case alone, as other litigants accept the settlement terms and focus on enforcing that agreement.
State Attorney General Tom Reilly said: "After a complete remedies trial, we were disappointed when the district court did little more than accept Microsoft's loophole-filled deal. Microsoft has been found to have repeatedly violated the antitrust laws of this state and this country. We believe a remedy must send a message that breaking the law will not pay. Otherwise, it sends a dangerous message about what is acceptable behaviour."
Appeal date West Virginia may yet join Massachusetts in appealing the remedy, according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. That state will announce its intentions today – the deadline for states to appeal.
Jim Desler, a Microsoft spokesman, said that Massachusetts' actions would not affect the company's plans moving forward.
"Regardless of today's decisions by the states, our focus remains on complying fully with the court's judgement," Desler said. "
California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia were the parties that declined to sign off on the federal government's initial proposed settlement with Microsoft. By continuing to pursue the case, the states won important concessions that strengthened enforcement provisions, Iowa's Miller said Friday.
Illegal California Attorney General Bill Lockyer also weighed in Friday, saying that the antitrust case has spotlighted Microsoft's illegal behaviour.
"While not completely satisfying, the court decree closed enforcement loopholes, keeps compliance with the remedies squarely before the court, and allows us to now turn attention to making sure that Microsoft competes fairly in the marketplace," he said.
Because Microsoft was judged guilty of antitrust violations, the states are entitled to recoup their expenses for the case, which total $25 million in attorney fees and litigation costs, Miller said. Microsoft will also pay an additional $3.6 million to be used for funding enforcement.
Massachusetts' Reilly said he is not worried about continuing the case without the participation of the other states.
"We are prepared to go it alone," he said. "We always expected one way or another this would be resolved at the appellate level, and that's where it's going."