MICROSOFT DECISION LEAKED EARLY

An interesting technical sidelight on Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s approval of the Microsoft-DOJ settlement. The release of her decision was carefully scheduled for 4:30pm US Eastern time, after the markets had closed. The folks running the Court’s web site apparently didn’t realize anybody would find it, so the decision appeared on the Court’s web site two hours early. It wasn’t announced on the web site, but there are some very intense people watching the web and a link to the opinion appeared on Slashdot more than an hour before the markets closed. In addition, the decision was e-mailed to a Court mailing list almost two hours early.

If you think things like that don’t matter, consider that $90 million of Microsoft stock changed hands in the last five minutes of trading on Friday. Wouldn’t you have liked to have bought a bit at a discount on Friday afternoon and then sold it after the share price bounced up, as it undoubtedly did this morning?