The Justice Department and 19 states were asking a federal judge
to break up Microsoft into two companies as a proposed sanction
against the company, which earlier this month was found in wide
violation of U.S. antitrust law. Here's what happens next:
The company has until May 10 to submit its response to the
government's proposal. However, company executives already have
said they will need more time to respond to a proposal that
suggests an extensive overhaul as a divestiture. Microsoft is
expected to request an extension from the judge overseeing the
case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.
Government files its rebuttal.
The government will counter the brief filed by Microsoft and has
until May 17 to do so. But that deadline is expected to be pushed
back if Jackson postpones Microsoft May 10 deadline.
Judge holds a hearing on remedies.
The hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 24. Its length
depend on various factors, including whether witnesses will be
allowed to testify.
Judge rules on a remedy; Microsoft appeals.
Once Jackson releases his decision on what sanctions to impose,
Microsoft may officially appeal his verdict. The company, which
will contend it never broke the law in the first place, will take
its case to either U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia, which has ruled in favor of Microsoft in related cases,
or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.