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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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States want judge to look again at Microsoft's e-mail about Intel

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Nine states suing Microsoft for antitrust violations want the federal judge overseeing the case to consider an internal Microsoft e-mail that advocated retaliation against "unfriendly" computer makers.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had already decided that the e-mail wasn't relevant after Microsoft objected, but the states want her to reconsider.

In the August 2000 e-mail, Microsoft Vice President Joachim Kempin complained that chip maker Intel was contacting computer makers "who are not (Microsoft) friendly in the first place and ... encouraging them to go to Linux," a free operating system that competes with Microsoft's Windows.

Kempin wrote to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that Kempin planned to "stop any go-to-market activities with Intel (and) only work with their competitors."

Kempin also suggested that Microsoft withhold technical information from computer makers, an issue brought up by the states.

"I would further try to restrict source-code deliveries where possible and be less gracious when interpreting agreements — again without being obvious about it."

Gates forwarded the e-mail without comment to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and another official.

The states argue that Microsoft did not object to the e-mail by the deadline set by Kollar-Kotelly and that it is directly relevant to the antitrust case.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said the states' claim is "baseless."

"The e-mail represents the random thoughts of a company executive," Desler said.

"There is no evidence that it was acted on or there was any follow-up."

The two sides concluded 32 days of testimony in the case Friday.

There will be arguments in court today through Friday by lawyers on various motions, but final arguments are not expected until mid-June.

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