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Microsoft Seeking Settlement

Microsoft shares soared close to an all-time high Monday morning after reports circulated that it may try to settle government charges that it illegally bullied rivals.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft wants to work on a settlement, although the two sides are far apart on issues.

CNBC reported the software giant is interested in discussing a settlement. But on the other side, the cable station reported, the Department of Justice has yet to receive any information from Microsoft.

At the DOJ, anti-trust chief Joel Klein issued a statement saying ther government has not eceived any settlement proposal from Microsoft.

" The Justice Department has always been and remains open to a settlement that fully protects consumers and assures that similar anti-trust violations do not occur in the future," he said. "Let me just add, and if there are to to be any settlement discussions, it is best that they occur directly between the parties, so I will not be commenting further."

The historic antitrust case, brought by the Justice Department and 19 states, is scheduled to resume next month, but could be delayed if talks are in progress.

The report comes as many legal observers say Microsoft took its lumps in the courtroom. A number of key witnesses and pieces of evidence for the software giant appeared to backfire as it tried to defend itself.

Settlement talks began swirling after Intel settled its case alleging it had abused its powerful position as leading supplier of chips.

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