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Judge Williams was wrong. Buried in the 70-page brief of proposed conclusions of law against Microsoft Corp., that was the government’s message in attacking the ruling that Microsoft most relies on in its antitrust battle with the U.S. Justice Department. The June 1998 opinion by Judge Stephen F. Williams, of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, said that the joining of two technologies would be an “integrated product”–and not an illegal tie-in, as the government alleges–if “there is a plausible claim that it brings some advantage.”

The government’s brief, filed Dec. 6, asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to reject this standard. “The Supreme Court has not carved out an exception for some category of ‘product design’ or ‘technological’ tying cases,” it urged.

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