- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2001

The newly assigned judge who will determine the antitrust fate of Microsoft Corp. sold stock this year worth $45,000 to $165,000 in technology companies whose fortunes could be affected by her verdict.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sold all her family's technology holdings between Jan. 1 and Sept. 28 to avoid potential ethical conflicts, she said in response to questions from the Associated Press.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly sold the shares in the midst of a serious slump in the technology sector the Nasdaq Composite Index is down roughly 31 percent since January but her losses could be less if her stock was sold early in the year.
She did not specify whether she sold her shares before her appointment as the new trial judge on Aug. 24, nor did she specify the amount she received. By law, she doesn't have to report that piece of information until next year.
Financial records show Judge Kollar-Kotelly purchased stock last year in IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. two Microsoft rivals and owned shares of Compaq Computer Corp., which could gain unprecedented new freedom in how it can install Microsoft software on computers it sells.
The judge also reported owning up to $15,000 worth of Intel Corp. shares in 1995 but never subsequently listed them among her assets nor reported their sale. A court spokesman said the judge also sold her Intel shares this year as part of her overall divestiture.
IBM and Sun are among Microsoft's fiercest rivals, with significant investments in the Linux operating system that competes against Microsoft's Windows. They also are partners in Java, a programming technology that a federal appeals court determined was the victim of an illegal Microsoft campaign to undermine its popularity.
Executives or employees from all the four companies testified before the original judge in the case, Thomas Penfield Jackson. Judge Kollar-Kotelly, who replaced Judge Jackson, did not report owning any Microsoft stock.
She is to rule on penalties for Microsoft antitrust violations but has been pressing the company and government prosecutors to work out a settlement.
Both U.S. law and federal ethics rules prohibit judges from ruling in cases in which they have a financial interest.
In a statement, Judge Kollar-Kotelly said she informed lawyers for Microsoft and the government on Sept. 28 about her prior ownership and the sale.
Records of the judge's holdings and trades during 2001 will not be available until May.

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