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Scoop Link: Judge Orders Microsoft Split in Two

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge ordered the breakup of Microsoft Corp. (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) on Wednesday, declaring the software giant that spurred an explosion in home computing should be split into two because it ``proved untrustworthy in the past.''

``Microsoft, as it is presently organized and led, is unwilling to accept the notion that it broke the law,'' U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wrote as he ordered the most dramatic antitrust breakup since AT&T in 1984.

An unrepentant Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, vowing an appeal, said the ruling shows ``the government can take away what you have created if it proves to be too popular.'' He said the company would seek to block Jackson's order from taking effect during the appeals process.

``This is the beginning of a new chapter in this case,'' added Gates, who would only be able to control one of the two companies mandated by the ruling.

Jackson's ruling came two months after he concluded April 3 the software company violated antitrust laws by using illegal methods to protect its monopoly in computer operating systems, stifling competition. He also found the company tried illegally to expand its dominance into the market for Internet browsers.

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