Judge: Work within existing agreement

June 26, 2007 at 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington said the existing antitrust agreement between Microsoft and plaintiffs is adequate to resolve issues.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Tuesday she likely would defer to the 2002 consent decree reached by Microsoft Corp. and federal and state antitrust authorities from the U.S. government's antitrust lawsuit against the software giant instead of processing a complaint filed by Google, PC World said. The judge said plaintiffs, including government officials, could suggest resolutions for complaints related to the settlement.

"The plaintiffs, as far as I'm concerned, stand in the shoes of the consumer," Kollar-Kotelly said during a status hearing on Microsoft's compliance with the settlement. "Google is not a party in this case."

Earlier this month, Google filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft, saying computer users had difficulty changing the default desktop search program in the new Windows Vista operating system. Google said the proposed desktop search agreement between Microsoft and the antitrust plaintiffs didn't go far enough and Monday filed a motion seeking to extend oversight of changes to desktop searches.

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