SEATTLE, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Microsoft Corp. has named a committee of directors to ensure that it obeys the law, as required in the Nov. 1 federal court ruling on the company's antitrust case.
The compliance committee will be headed by Harvard Business School professor James Cash, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.
Also serving will be Merck & Co. chief executive Raymond Gilmartin and former U.S. Labor Secretary Ann McLaughlin Korologos.
All joined the Microsoft board after January, 2000 and receive a stipend of $35,000, with options to buy 10,000 Microsoft shares, the newspaper said.
In the decision, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved most of the year-old settlement between the software giant and the Justice Department. She retained for herself or some other federal judge the authority to determine whether the agreement was being carried out properly.
The settlement between the Justice Department and Microsoft invested most of that jurisdiction in a three-member independent monitoring board.
The Justice Department launched its massive antitrust suit against Microsoft in 1998, alleging that the company was using access to its popular Windows operating system to force computer manufacturers and vendors to install other Microsoft products on new computers, freezing out competitors such as Netscape and Java.
After trial, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft should be divided, with its Windows system forming one division and all other Microsoft products the other.
But a federal appeals court, while upholding Jackson's finding that Microsoft violated the Sherman Act, ruled that the break-up was too harsh.
The appeals court also chastised Jackson for criticizing Microsoft in media interviews, and said another judge should hear the case when it got back to the trial court level.
Kollar-Kotelly took over the case and late last year ordered the two sides to come up with a settlement.
Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the department was giving up its demand that Microsoft be broken up -- a key part of the strategy by Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno -- and the two sides reached a settlement last November.
The settlement between the Justice Department and Microsoft included provisions that force the software giant to stop its aggressive tactics against competitors, and to refrain from retaliating against competitors who compete with Microsoft middleware, such as browsers.
Provisions also force Microsoft to allow competitors to plug their products into Windows, which is the operating system installed on most new computers.
The settlement also forces Microsoft to disclose source code and new products to competitors.