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2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1990


2001    
Line   May 29 – Microsoft agrees to pay $750 million to AOL Time Warner to drop an antitrust suit against the software giant.

May 27 – The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department has decided not to participate in the continuing legal fight involving two states that refused to settle antitrust claims against Microsoft.

May 5 – The Washington Post reports that former judge Robert H. Bork will return to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to argue on behalf of two industry trade groups challenging the settlement and consent decree in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust lawsuit.

Jan. 10 – Microsoft says settled the largest consumer antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to give as many as 13 million California residents and businesses who purchased Microsoft software a total of $1.1 billion in vouchers that could be used to buy any computer hardware or software.

2001    
Line   Dec. 23 – A judge rules Microsoft must include an arch rival's software when it distributes its dominant Windows operating system for personal computers.

Nov. 29 – Massachusetts says that it will pursue an antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.

Nov. 8 – Microsoft takes early steps to begin obeying court-approved sanctions in its antitrust case.

Nov. 1 – A federal judge in Washington rejects efforts by state prosecutors to impose stiffer sanctions on Microsoft than it agreed to in a settlement with the Department of Justice.

Aug. 6 – Microsoft announces moves to comply with its antitrust settlement with the Justice Department, although a federal judge had yet to approve the agreement.

June 12 – A federal judge refuses to dismiss the Microsoft antitrust case.

May 10 – Microsoft's lawyers rest their case in the latest round of court hearings, held to determine how its violations of antitrust laws should be rectified.

April 24 – A deferential and mostly calm Bill Gates testifies.

April 15 – Microsoft asks a federal judge to dismiss the antitrust case.

March 26 – The judge in the Microsoft antitrust case invites the Justice Department to weigh in on the question of whether states that did not sign onto the department's proposed settlement deal with the company are entitled to pursue stiffer sanctions.

March 18 – State prosecutors seek tougher sanctions against Microsoft at U.S. District Court hearings in Washington.

March 9 – Sun Microsystems sues rival Microsoft for choking off distribution of it's Java programming language.

March 7 – Microsoft and the Department of Justice urge a federal judge to quickly approve their settlement deal against the software giant.

March 1 – The Department of Justice and Microsoft announce several changes in the antitrust settlement deal in response to public criticism from corporate rivals, antitrust scholars and state prosecutors.

January 25 – The American Institute, a group of antitrust lawyers and academics, files a complaint about Microsoft not adequately reporting its lobbying activities.

January 23 – AOL Time Warner decides to sue Microsoft.

January 12 – A federal judge rejects the Microsoft's proposal to settle more than 100 private antitrust cases against the company in exchange for a donation of computers and software to impoverished public schools.

2001    
Line   December 22 – Microsoft asks for a four-month delay in the antitrust hearings.

December 21 – Microsoft announces a security flaw in Windows XP.

December 20 – Comcast and AT&T Broadband agree to merge their cable operations in a $72 billion deal.

December 12 – Microsoft files a report that lists no lobbying activity in connection with the antitrust case against it, stirring up ire from critics and rivals who feel the move violates disclosure laws.

December 7 – The states pursuing the antitrust case announce they will recommend that the Microsoft be required to offer a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system and be monitored more stringently than was agreed to by federal prosecutors.

December 4 – Microsoft enters the bidding war for AT&T Broadband to keep the valuable asset out of the hands of its longstanding nemesis, AOL Time Warner.

November 21 – Microsoft, in attempts to settle more than 100 private antitrust cases, agrees to provide cash, computers and software it values at more than $1 billion to public schools that poor children attend.

November 16 – Microsoft makes a special limited-time offer to pay all litigation costs for the nine states and the District of Columbia still pursuing the antitrust case against the company.

Microsoft Xbox
Microsoft Xbox (File Photo)
   
November 15 – Microsoft's new video-game console, the Xbox, hits store shelves.

November 15 – In a bid to lure the hold-out states to joine the settlement, Microsoft said it would pay all litigation costs, including attorneys fees, the states have run up so far. The company gave the states 10 days to accept the offer.

November 14 – EU competition minister Mario Monti signaled that the settlement Microsoft reached with the U.S. Department of Justice may not address the concerns of European regulators. The European Commission schedules hearings on Microsoft for December.

November 6 – Nine states announce that they are not willing to join the settlement. The states said they intend to pursue tougher sanctions against the company in court.

November 2 – Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department announce that they have arrived at a settlement agreement that would end the long-running antitrust case. The settlement proposal would set new rules for Microsoft that in turn would have an impact on thousands of companies whose programs run on Microsoft's Windows operating system. The settlement would require Microsoft to make portions of Windows software code available to competitors so they can ensure that their products work with the operating system. Microsoft also would have to allow computer makers to pick and choose which of its products they load onto their machines, without fear of retaliation by the software giant.

October 12 – The federal judge overseeing the Microsoft case appointed Eric Green, a Boston University law professor and expert on alternative dispute resolution, as a mediator.

October 10 – The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Microsoft appeal to review the antitrust case, leaving intact a federal appeals court ruling that the company illegally abused its monopoly power in the market for personal-computer operating systems.

September 6 – The Justice Department announced that it will not seek to break up Microsoft.

August 29 – The new judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly orders the parties to set out the key issues in the case and determine how it will proceed. All sides are due to meet in court on Sept. 21.

August 24 – A federal appeals court sent the case back to the District and appointed a new judge to hear remaining parts of the case and determine penalties.

August 18 – The U.S. Court of Appeals rules that the case can go forward in district court despite Microsoft's Supreme Court appeal.

August 8 – Microsoft appeals to the Supreme Court, arguing that the U.S. Court of Appeals should not have upheld Jackson's findings, particularly when the appeals court itself criticized Jackson for making inappropriate comments to the media.

June 28 – A federal appeals court reversed a trial judge's order to break up Microsoft, but found merit in some of the findings that the world's largest software company broke federal antitrust law. The court also sent the case back to a different judge.

April 19 – The European Union drops an antitrust probe against Microsoft over digital cable television after Microsoft altered some contracts.

March 14 – Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson recuses himself from a race-bias case against Microsoft.

Feb. 27 – Two days of oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia conclude. The judges cast doubt on the decision to break up the company but suggest the core antitrust violation could stand.

Feb. 6 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia schedules a hearing about the conduct of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

2000    
Line   Oct. 11 – The U.S. Court of Appeals sets aside two days in late February to hear oral arguments in Microsoft's appeal of a district court decision that the company broke the antitrust law and should be split in two.

Sept. 26 – The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not hear a direct appeal of the Microsoft case, sending the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

June 20 – The case is sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson also puts on hold his sanctions for the company.

June 14 – Microsoft asks the U.S. Court of Appeals to postpone debate on the court-ordered breakup plan until it was decided whether the case would fast-track directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

June 7 – Judge issues his final ruling, ordering that Microsoft be split into two companies--one for the operating system and one for applications. Microsoft pledges to appeal.

June 1 – Judge delays his ruling, asks both sides for more filings.

May 26 – The U.S. files its last proposal for a breakup of the company.

May 24 – The Judge deals Microsoft a blow by refusing to grant more time for arguments and by signaling he will rule in favor of a split.

May 22 – Microsoft files a brief that argues against a split for the company.

May 17 – The Justice Department files a defense of its original breakup proposal.

May 10 – Microsoft files a reply and offers counterproposals to the breakup plan.

April 28 – The U.S. files its remedy proposal, which calls for breaking Microsoft into two companies.

April 3 – Jackson issues his verdict, which includes his conclusions of law.

April 1 – Posner announces mediation talks have collapsed.

March 28 – Jackson sets a deadline of April 6 for both sides to reach an agreement.

March 24 – Jackson says that unless he hears from mediator Richard Posner or jointly from both sides, he will issue his ruling, prompting last-minute talks.

Feb. 22 – Both sides deliver closing arguments on conclusions of law.

Jan. 25 – The government argues in proposed conclusions of law that Microsoft is trying to "evade" a finding that it holds monopoly power and that it exercised that power illegally.

Jan. 18 – In proposed conclusions of law, Microsoft argues that it acted lawfully and that numerous competitive threats prove it does not wield monopoly power.

Jan. 13 – Founder Bill Gates steps down as chief executive; Steve Ballmer takes the job.

1999    
Line   Dec. 6 – In proposed findings of law, the Justice Department and the 19 states file papers arguing that Microsoft violated antitrust laws in at least four ways.

Dec. 2 – The Justice Department hires merger and acquisition firm Greenhill & Co. to advise it on implications of remedies in the case.

Nov. 30 – Judge Posner convenes with Microsoft and government representatives to discuss the possibility of a settlement.

Nov. 19 – Jackson appoints Richard Posner, chief judge of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as mediator in an effort to speed a settlement.

Nov. 5 – In a preliminary ruling, Jackson finds that Microsoft holds monopoly power with its Windows operating system and that it used that power to harm consumers, computer makers and other companies. The findings of fact are so extensively weighted against Microsoft that most observers expect the company to be found guilty of antitrust violations.

Sept. 21 – Both sides deliver closing arguments.

June 25 – Rebuttal arguments conclude.

June 1 – After a 13-week recess, rebuttal arguments begin. Each side is limited to three witnesses.

March 31 – Microsoft and the government hold brief settlement talks but cannot reach an agreement.

Feb. 27 – Microsoft rests its case. Both sides begin preparing rebuttal arguments. Jan. 13 – The government rests its case.

1998    
Line   Oct. 19 – The trial begins at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Oct. 9 – Judge Jackson agrees to delay the beginning of the antitrust trial until October 19.

Oct. 8 – U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns rejects Microsoft's attempt to obtain Yoffie and Cusumano's recordings and notes.

Oct. 1 – Microsoft's Internet Explorer overtakes Netscape's Navigator in browser market share.

Sept. 28 – Microsoft serves subpoenas to authors David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano seeking, among other things, tapes of their interviews with Netscape employees.

Sept. 24 – Judge Jackson tells lawyers on both sides that he may ask Lawrence Lessig, to write a "friend of the court" brief summarizing his views on the case.


Judge Jackson (File Photo)
   

Sept. 17 – Judge Jackson rejects a request from Microsoft to limit the scope of evidence that government lawyers can present in the antitrust trial.

Sept. 14 – Judge Jackson rejects Microsoft's requests to throw out the two antitrust lawsuits.

Sept. 11 – The Justice Department and Microsoft Corp. ask Judge Jackson for a three-week delay to their antitrust trial due to pretrial preparations.

Sept. 8 – Microsoft files a 48-page legal brief rebuking the government and reiterating its argument that the case be dismissed.

Aug. 25 – U.S. begins probe to determine if Microsoft illegally pressured Intel and Apple.

   
Microsoft general counsel William Neukom leaves federal court in Washington, Aug. 6, 1998. (Washington Post)

Aug. 19 – Federal court of appeals rules that pretrial interviews should be closed.

Aug. 11 – Judge Jackson rules that pretrial interviews of Gates and other executives should be open. Microsoft appeals.

July 31 – Justice claims Microsoft won't make Gates available for questioning, turn over the source code for Windows or allow 17 company executives to be deposed.


Bill Gates gestures at Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy. (Washington Post)
   

July 28 – Microsoft calls lawsuit "completely groundless." Microsoft countersues the 20 states.

July 23 – Five computer executives, including Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison and IBM's Jeffrey Papous and Rob Glaser, complained to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Microsoft is using unfair business practices.

June 23 – A federal appeals court rules that Microsoft did not violate a previous agreement with the government when it combined Windows 95 and Internet Explorer.

May 22 – Judge sets September trial date for Microsoft.

May 21 – Microsoft asks judge to delay hearing.

May 18 – U.S., 20 states sue Microsoft.

May 14 – Microsoft, the Justice Department and close to 20 states announce they're in settlement talks that could head off a massive antitrust suit.

April 21 – A federal appeals court in Washington hears arguments – but doesn't say when it will rule – on Microsoft's bid to overturn Judge Jackson's Dec. 11, 1997 injunction.

March 3 – Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other computer industry executives testify before a U.S. Senate panel investigating the company's business practices.

Feb. 17 – A Texas judge sides with Microsoft, saying the company did not hinder that state's investigation.

Feb. 2 – An appeals court panel temporarily removes Lessig from his post while the court considers Microsoft's appeal.

Jan. 22 – The Justice Department and Microsoft reach settlement on contempt charge.

1997    
Line  

Dec. 17 – The Justice Department asks Jackson to hold Microsoft in contempt of court, charging the new options don't meet the requirements of the preliminary injunction.

Dec. 15 – Microsoft says it will comply with Jackson's order by offering computer makers two new options, both of which would undermine a computer's performance.

Dec. 11 – Judge Jackson issues a preliminary injunction barring Microsoft from requiring computer makers to install Internet Explorer. Jackson also appoints Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig as a special master to advise him on a final decision in the case. Microsoft later appeals the order.

Nov. 24 – Microsoft alters an agreement with Santa Cruz Operation Inc., a rival maker of operating systems, to resolve a dispute with European officials.
   

Nov. 7 – Texas becomes the first state to file suit against Microsoft, charging the software maker with impeding its investigation through non-disclosure agreements with its business partners. Attorneys general of more than 20 states eventually open their own antitrust probes of Microsoft.

Oct. 16 – European Commission officials announce the opening of their own Microsoft probe.

Oct. 20 – The Justice Department sues Microsoft, charging the company with violating the court-approved settlement by requiring computer makers to install its Internet Explorer browser if they want to license Windows 95.


Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs unveils an alliance with Microsoft on August 6, 1997. (AP)
   
Aug. 19 – The Justice Department reveals its investigation of Microsoft's growing presence in the video-streaming business, which delivers high-quality video and sound from the Internet to computer users.

Aug. 6 – Microsoft announces a $150 million investment in operating system rival Apple Computer Inc., a move that immediately draws Justice Department scrutiny.

Aug. 1 – Microsoft gets Justice Department approval for acquisition of WebTV Networks Inc., which produces a system for browsing the Internet on television.

1996    
Line  

Sept. 19 – Microsoft says the Justice Department is probing the bundling of its Internet browser and PC operating system.

July 23 – Caldera Inc. files an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, charging the company with excluding competitors from selling rival DOS operating systems.

1995    
Line   Aug. 24 – Microsoft launches Windows 95.
   
Windows 95 goes on sale one minute after midnight on August 24, 1995. (AP)

Aug. 21 – U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson approves the settlement reached the previous year.

Aug. 8 – The Justice Department says it won't block Microsoft's newest Windows 95 operating system before its release.

June 16 – A federal appeals court upholds the 1994 settlement, reversing Sporkin and removing the judge from the case.

June 9 – Microsoft reveals the Justice Department is investigating its new online service, Microsoft Network.

May 20 – Microsoft abandons the Intuit acquisition.

April 27 – The Justice Department sues to block Microsoft's acquisition of Intuit Inc., maker of the popular Quicken personal finance program.

Feb. 14 – U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin rejects the settlement, saying it doesn't go far enough to curtail the company's anti-competitive conduct.

1994    
Line   July 16 – Microsoft and the Justice Department reach a settlement that requires the company to change a variety of business practices, including key aspects of its licensing agreements with personal computer makers.
1993    
Line  
Aug. 20 – The FTC drops Microsoft probe. The Justice Department announces it is taking over the case.

July 21 – The FTC again deadlocks on taking action against Microsoft.

Feb. 5 – In a 2-2 vote, FTC splits on filing charges.

1990    
Line   May 30 – The Federal Trade Commission opens an antitrust investigation of Microsoft. The agency considers charges that the company's pricing policies illegally thwarted competition and that it deliberately created hidden codes in its operating system to hinder competing applications.



© 2002-2005 The Washington Post Company


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