European legal circles await ruling on Microsoft

Perhaps the most closely watched figure in European legal circles this summer has been Bo Vesterdorf, the Danish judge who heads Europe’s top appeals court, with antitrust lawyers hanging on his every public utterance.They are interested in how the Court of First Instance, the body that he leads, will rule when it announces its decision Sept. 17 on Microsoft’s appeal of Europe’s biggest antitrust case ever. But Judge Vesterdorf, 61, who has said he plans to retire on the day the decision is made public, has avoided any discussion of the case.Christopher Fretwell, a court spokesman, said Judge Vesterdorf, who has presided over the court since March 1998, would not give interviews on the case before the Microsoft verdict.

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