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Microsoft-EU Case Has A New Judge
Microsoft-EU Case - New Judge Named

The Case: Microsoft's appeal against the EU's anti-trust.
New Judge: Bo Vesterdorf.

Bo Vesterdorf is the president of the Court of First Instance (CFI). Vesterdorf was the judge who in December 2004 threw out Microsoft's attempt to temporarily halt measures imposed by the European Commission.

Bo Vesterdorf, the 59-year-old Danish judge helped found Europe's second-highest judicial body, known as the Court of First Instance, in 1989. For the past six years, he has been president of the tribunal, which hears initial appeals of European Commission rulings. But the only Americans who know anything about Vesterdorf are globetrotting international lawyers.

Earlier it was ruled that the case would be heard by a Grand Chamber of 13 judges rather than by a five-judge team led by Hubert Legal. The change is expected to lead to a further delay the completion of the case.

The court official declined to comment on reasons for the change. It is however understood to reflect anger at an article by Legal in which he attacked clerks at the court as "ayatollahs of the free market." There had been speculation that Legal, a French national, would stay on as reporting judge. The reporting judge is responsible for preparing the court's judgment, including summarizing the parties' arguments and drawing the draft final ruling. But the court has decided to appoint Irish judge John Cooke to this position.

However, some parties believe this move will delay the case until the end of 2006. Thomas Vinje, counsel for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, a group of five tech firms supporting the EU's case, said it was questionable whether the 13-judge Grand Chamber would decide as rapidly as Legal's team.

In April 2004 the Commission found Microsoft guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Windows PC operating software to crowd out other vendors. It ordered the company to offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player and to license its communications protocols for the workgroup server market. It also fined the company €497 million, the largest fine in the EU's history of anti-trust cases.

The Commission is expected to give its final ruling on whether Microsoft's terms are acceptable before the end of July. If it does not accept them, it can impose fines worth 5 percent of Microsoft's daily turnover until the company comes up with a better offer.

About .NETDJ News Desk
.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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Microsoft-EU Case Has A New Judge. Bo Vesterdorf has been named the new judge in the Microsoft-EU case. Bo Vesterdorf, the 59-year-old Danish judge helped found Europe's second-highest judicial body, known as the Court of First Instance, in 1989. For the past six years, he has been president of the tribunal, which hears initial appeals of European Commission rulings. But the only Americans who know anything about Vesterdorf are globetrotting international lawyers.




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