NEW YORK, (CNN/Money) -
Late Monday, West Virginia decided to join with Massachusetts in appealing a federal judge's antitrust settlement with Microsoft Corp. Seven other states dropped out of the lawsuit against the software maker Friday.
Massachusetts and West Virginia were two of nine states that had refused to sign the antitrust settlement worked out between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corp (MSFT: Research, Estimates). That deal was approved by a federal judge in October. California, Connecticut, Iowa , Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah and the District of Columbia all said Friday they had enough of the case and would appeal no further.
But, West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw Jr., echoing his Massachusetts counter-part, Tom Reilly, said the federal court deal with Microsoft does not go far enough to protect consumers and help competition.
There had been some speculation over the weekend that West Virginia would drop out of the case because of worries about the state's fiscal problems. But, McGraw said, "No reputable government should plea poverty and allow an adjudicated lawbreaker to retain their ill-gotten gains."
U.S. District court judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly accepted nearly all the provisions of the government's settlement with Microsoft.
In doing so, she rebuffed arguments by nine states and the District of Columbia that tougher sanctions were essential to restore competition in the computer industry. She concluded that some penalties proposed by those states would chiefly benefit the company's rivals.
There was no immediate reaction by Microsoft to the West Virginia decision. Microsoft closed up slightly higher on the day.