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Thursday, November 1 12:01 AM EST

Justice Department, Microsoft Near Deal

By Brian Briggs

Washington DC - Microsoft Corp. and the US Justice Department are reportedly nearing an agreement to settle their long-running antitrust dispute.

Sale of the CenturyThe deal places the software maker under supervision by the US government for the next five to seven years, but allows it to maintain its software products as is. In return, the government has agreed to establish Redmond as a new state, and has offered Microsoft a controlling interest in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for the next five to seven years. In addition, John Ashcroft will receive $2 billion in cash and stock in exchange for harassing Oracle, Sun and AOL-TW for the next 5 years.

Attorneys General for the states also prosecuting the case said that they would oppose any deal that didn't protect the rights of consumers, however, for $3 billion dollars they "may reconsider their priorities."

President Bush was pleased with the news. "America must move ahead with the task at hand. Our country faces a great danger and with the help of Windows XP we can have an army of flying soldiers to help with the war on terrorism," said Bush.

Attorney General John Ashcroft dismissed criticism that the government was selling out citizen's rights to corporate America. "That's ridiculous," said Ashcroft, "I'm a citizen. Look how good of a deal I'm getting."

A recent poll showed that Americans were evenly divided on the issue. When asked what they thought of the Microsoft settlement half of Americans didn't care and the other half were worried about anthrax.

More Microsoft News

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