Attorneys general held a Friday-night news conference after a federal judge approved most features of a settlement between the U.S. justice department and Microsoft. Iowa was one of nine states not in on that settlement, but Attorney general Tom Miller said in the teleconference that staying with their consumer lawsuit helped the holdouts affect the settlement. He says U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly adopted the holdout states’ request for a committee including a “compliance officer” that will oversee the carrying out of the settlement and report to the A-G’s any violations of the judge’s decree. Miller says the settlement “sets a strong tone” for enforcement and reflects national trends toward more responsibility on boards and among outside directors. The group’s raised the point of Microsoft’s power and how it uses that power, and got not only retaliation banned in the final settlement, but also “threats of retaliation” against other players in the industry. Miller says the nine states remaining in the lawsuit managed to get points they wanted into the settlement, including changes that should give computer users more flexibility and power to not use Microsoft programs they don’t want.
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