The nine non-settling states in the Microsoft antirust case have asked Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to bar more than twenty last minute witnesses that the company now plans to present in the remedy hearings set to begin next month. The new witnesses were added Friday, just hours before the final filing deadline for the hearings, in what the states called a "hide the ball" tactic.

"\[Microsoft has shown a\] blatant disregard for this court's schedule and for the reasonable and appropriate conduct of litigation," the states wrote in a motion filed Monday. "By adding 23 previously undisclosed witnesses to its final witness list (at the last minute), Microsoft is obviously trying yet again to derail this remedy proceeding to the detriment of consumers and competitors who continue to be harmed by Microsoft's monopolistic conduct."

Microsoft says that the witnesses are needed to parry the "draconian" remedy measures requested by the states. "It is important that the court hear from consumer and industry witnesses on the harms they would suffer under the state proposals," Microsoft said in a statement issued late Monday. "The non-settling states are seeking remedies that go far beyond the appeals court rulings and they don't want the court to hear about the negative impact their proposals will have on consumers, on the industry and on the economy."