A federal judge has ruled that Microsoft and AOL Time Warner must try to resolve their dispute over documents Microsoft is seeking.
In a motion filed on Thursday, Microsoft accused AOL of “stonewalling” by refusing to turn over documents that might help Microsoft defend itself against assertions that its settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and nine states isn’t good enough. Microsoft claims it subpoenaed documents from AOL on Nov. 21 and Dec. 13, but never received the requested documents.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the judge handling Microsoft’s antitrust proceedings ruled, has ordered AOL to provide the documents immediately. But though the judge said Microsoft was entitled to a quick response from AOL, the unresolved issues “are sufficiently narrow” to be resolved without intervention by the court, Kollar-Kotelly wrote in an order, according to a
report. If the two big firms can’t work things out, AOL will have to file a brief Monday with Microsoft responding on Tuesday.
There’s no love lost between the two companies. As MacCentral
reported Wednesday, AOL subsidiary, Netscape Communications Corp., brought a suit against Microsoft, citing anticompetitive practices. The suit seeks both an injunction against Microsoft and triple damages.
The seven-count lawsuit, filed in United States Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, alleged that Microsoft broke the law and caused harm to Netscape beginning in 1995. Netscape’s lawyers are seeking an injunction against Microsoft “to prevent further antitrust injury” to Netscape, as well as triple damages to be determined at trial — which it might be entitled to, if Microsoft were to be found guilty.