Wednesday June 24 10:16 AM EDT

Chronology Of Microsoft Antitrust Case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Following are key events in the latest antitrust confrontation between software giant Microsoft and the U.S. government:

June 1990: Federal Trade Commission secretly investigates possible collusion between Microsoft and IBM.

Feb. 5, 1993: FTC takes no action against Microsoft after 2- 2 vote of its commissioners

Aug. 21, 1993: U.S. Justice Department takes over Microsoft investigation.

July 15, 1994: Microsoft and Justice sign consent decree that says Microsoft cannot require computer makers that license its Windows operating system to also license any other software product, but Microsoft may develop "integrated products."

Feb. 14, 1995: U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin throws out consent decree as too easy on Microsoft.

June 16, 1995: Appellate court overturns Sporkin ruling at joint request of Microsoft and Justice Department and case is transferred to a different judge.

Aug. 21, 1995: U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson approves consent decree.

September 1996: Government investigates possible violation of consent decree by Microsoft.

Oct. 20, 1997: Justice Department asks a federal judge to fine Microsoft $1 million a day for allegedly violating the consent decree by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95. Microsoft says browser is an integrated part of the operating system.

Dec. 11, 1997: Judge Jackson issues preliminary injunction against Microsoft, requires unbundling of Web browser from operating system. Appoints "special master" to advise him.

Dec. 16, 1997: Microsoft appeals Jackson's decision and offers computer makers old or "broken" version of Windows 95 without Internet Explorer. One day later, Justice Department asks Jackson to hold Microsoft in contempt for failing to obey order.

Jan. 13-15, 1998: Jackson rejects assertions of Microsoft lawyers and a company executive during contempt hearing.

Jan. 16, 1998: Microsoft appeals appointment of special master to U.S. Court of Appeals.

Jan. 22, 1998: Facing certain contempt citation, Microsoft signs agreement giving computer makers freedom to install Windows 95 without Internet Explorer icon.

Feb. 2, 1998: Court of Appeals halts proceedings before special master.

May 12, 1998: Appeals Court rules that injunction against Microsoft should not apply to Windows 98, allowing Microsoft to proceed with launch of new product.

May 18, 1998: Justice Department, 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia file major new antitrust cases alleging Microsoft abuses its market power to thwart competition.

June 23, 1998: Appeals Court overturns Windows 95 injunction, ruling that Jackson made both procedural and substantive errors.