Microsoft names three wise anti-trust monkeys

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Microsoft has taken one of the first steps to comply with its anti-trust undertakings, appointing three existing directors to head up a new compliance unit.

Lead by Harvard professor James Cash Jr, the committee also includes former Reagan staffer Ann McLaughlin Korologos and pharmaceutical magnate Raymond Gilmartin.

The committee will also hire a compliance officer to enforce sanctions approved by US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Microsoft's case against nine US states.

Directors appointing the committee said the board "recognises and appreciates the important roles the Department of Justice and each of the State Attorneys General will play in their oversight of Microsoft's compliance".

Only non-employee directors were eligible for the committee. Exact responsibilities for the committee have yet to be spelled out, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Both sides to the anti-trust dispute have also agreed to minor changes imposed by judge Kotar-Kotelly. The changes explicitly give the court additional authority to ensure that Microsoft adheres to the agreement over the next five years.

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