Gates And The States

Nine attorneys general settle with the software giant. Nine soldier on. Has Microsoft already won?

The attorneys meeting in the Washington offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson last week were running on empty. Lawyers from Microsoft and state attorneys general had been toiling through a long weekend that stretched until Tuesday, finessing an agreement that would finally end their epic three-year legal battle. As negotiators went through the 20-page document line by line, one of the lawyers fell asleep amid the piled-up pizza boxes and coffee cups; his snoring could be heard on speakerphones in state offices thousands of miles away. "It was like one of those games where the last person standing wins,"...

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