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Hearing Set for Microsoft Time Plea


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Microsoft and lawyers from nine states will argue in court next week over the company's request for extra time to produce evidence in the antitrust case against the software giant.

Microsoft is arguing that penalties proposed by the states differ significantly from the company's settlement with the Justice Department and therefore the company needs an extra four months to sift through millions of documents.

The states accuse Microsoft of delaying possible punishments that the company could face. Microsoft also is reviving arguments that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly should limit the scope of penalties _ an idea the judge has rejected in the past.

Kollar-Kotelly set a Monday morning hearing after both sides provided their written arguments.

The current schedule calls for a trial in March. If the judge grants Microsoft's request, that trial would be delayed until at least late summer.

Kollar-Kotelly also plans to review the Bush administration's settlement with Microsoft in March. The nine states that did not sign onto that settlement are Iowa, California, Connecticut, West Virginia, Utah, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida and Massachusetts.
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