Agreement reached in Microsoft case

Thursday, November 1, 2001

WASHINGTON -- Microsoft Corp. and the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to settle the historic antitrust case against the software giant, and state attorneys general were reviewing terms of the deal, according to people familiar with the talks.

Terms of the prospective settlement were closely guarded, and people close to the negotiations cautioned that precise language was still being worked out even between Microsoft and the Justice Department.

The attorneys generals from the states that sued Microsoft for antitrust violations were weighing whether to sign onto the deal, the sources said.

Charles James, assistant U.S. attorney for antitrust, disclosed the agreement to the attorneys general on Wednesday and said Microsoft also would accept the terms, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

The computer industry has eagerly been monitoring the talks.

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