REDMOND, Wash., April 22, 1999 — As authorized by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, Microsoft is preparing to take depositions from America Online, Netscape, and Sun Microsystems. The depositions are expected to focus on the question of how AOL’s acquisition of Netscape and strategic alliance with Sun affect the government’s antitrust accusations against Microsoft.
Microsoft believes that the new business alliance of America Online, Netscape and Sun Microsystems, announced in November and approved by the federal government in March, shows just how competitive and dynamic the high-tech industry really is and how quickly it can change. In December, Judge Jackson granted Microsoft the right to examine documents from the three companies, declaring that the deal could have a significant effect on the current antitrust lawsuit brought against Microsoft by the U.S. Department of Justice and 19 state attorneys general.
The Court ordered depositions of America Online CEO Steve Case, as well as a representative from each of the three companies who is knowledgeable about the landmark deal. In accordance with the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals, these depositions will be open to the public and the media, although space will be limited.
The U.S. District Court has issued a protocol outlining the procedures for conducting these public depositions. According to the protocol, the Public Affairs Office of the Justice Department will provide an updated list of scheduled depositions at 4 p.m. (EDT) each day, beginning April 22. Notification of the depositions must be made public no later than three days prior to the date each deposition will occur. The Justice Department will update all scheduling information each day, including any changes in the times and locations of depositions.