Microsoft chief Bill Gates has a critical ally in the latest phase of his company's marathon antitrust suit—the Justice Department. The agency is opposing court action by New York and California to extend judicial oversight of Microsoft's activities to 2012, reports the Wall Street Journal. Monitoring was part of the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by the Clinton administration.
The judicial scrutiny was to have ended Monday—but several states asked for a five-year extension, citing Microsoft's continued dominance of the software industry. Justice officials say the extension is unnecessary and the states' arguments are "inadequate and mutually inconsistent."