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The Power of the Bench

The betting is that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will rule against Microsoft. The company is certain to appeal, but Jackson still could inflict some pain. Here's how:

PUBLIC RELATIONS
An official judicial finding that Microsoft is guilty of predatory conduct would lend immense credibility to the company's critics.

REMEDIES
Jackson could immediately restrict some of Microsoft's questionable business practices, such as demanding exclusive deals from business partners--though the company would quickly appeal any remedies.

PRIVATE SUITS
Companies pursuing private antitrust suits against Microsoft could use Jackson's factual and legal findings against the company.

SETTLEMENT POSTURE
It could take several months for an appeals court to review Jackson's decision. The government would have an edge in any settlement discussions before then.

DATA: BUSINESS WEEK


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Updated Dec. 10, 1998 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P.
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