Microsoft Walloped in Landmark Antitrust Case and Stock Falls Over 4 1/2 in Evening Trading

Friday's ruling by a federal judge said the tech giant had established a monopoly.
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A U.S. Federal judge ruled that

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

wields monopoly power in PC operating systems, dealing a blow to the mammoth software company, in one of the biggest antitrust cases of the century.

In a decision deemed highly favorable to the government, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said three main facts indicate Microsoft enjoys monopoly power: the company's large and stable market share, the high barriers to market entry and the lack of a commercially viable alternative to the Windows operating system.

In other portions of the ruling, Jackson said Microsoft used its powers to punish competitors and that its actions harmed consumers. The ruling set the stage for a later ruling on whether Microsoft's actions constitute a violation of antitrust law. In after-hours trading, shares were down 4 9/16 to 87 1/16 on

Island ECN

.

Stick with

TheStreet.com

this evening and over the weekend, as we provide up-to-the-minute stories, commentary and reaction on the Microsoft case.

After-Hours Trading

Peapod

(PPOD)

checked its wallet and, oops, it announced that it may not have enough cash to fund operations for the upcoming year. As a result, the company broke out the feather dusters and got its clock cleaned. The news comes right after rival

Webvan's

(WBVN)

solid IPO, which only dragged Peapod down during the day session. This after-hours drop is just insult to injury.

And if you're looking for

MarketXT

, you won't find it here. The ECN takes Fridays off to pursue other interests, like its burgeoning handball career and heading up the local quilting bee.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.

--

Eric Gillin

In other post-close news (earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

SuperGen

(SUPG)

reported a third-quarter loss of 26 cents a share excluding charges, smaller than the single-analyst expected loss of 78 cents, but wider than a year-ago loss of 21 cents a share.

Tower Air

(TOWR) - Get Report

reported a third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, greatly missing the lone-analyst expected earnings of 65 cents a share and the year-ago earnings of 79 cents a share.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

The

U.S. Justice Department

said it allowed

Alcoa's

(AA) - Get Report

$41 million acquisition of

Golden Aluminum

, a unit of

ACX Technologies

(ACX)

, saying that the sale of Golden's facility in Fort Lupton, Col., resolved antitrust concerns.

Alaska governor Tony Knowles reached a tentative agreement with

BP Amoco

(BPA)

that would clear a hurdle in its $27 billion bid to take over

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

.

BP Amoco has agreed to sell 620,000 acres of its exploitation leases as well as matching stakes in the trans-Alaska pipeline system, but said the sales would have minimal impact on the $1 billion in synergies it expects to realize from the merger. Alaskans will decide on the BP Amoco deal at town meetings over the next two weeks

Reuters

reported.

Mexican industrial conglomerate

Desc

(DES) - Get Report

said it sold

Grupo Campi

, its poultry and animal feed business, to Mexican poultry producer

Bachoco

(IBA) - Get Report

for $155 million. Bachoco will assume $27 million in Campi debt.

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

is sticking to its bidding guns in its offer for

Warner-Lambert

(WLA)

. Pfizer said it was "very committed" to pursuing a deal with Warner, but that it was too early to discuss possible hostile measures. Pfizer said it sees a "wonderful, complementary fit," with Warner Lambert, according to Reuters.

Offerings and stock actions

Bel Fuse

(BELFA) - Get Report

said its board declared a 2-for-1 stock split, payable Dec.1 to shareholders of record on Nov. 22. The company will pay a special dividend of one share of class B common stock for each share of Class-A and Class-B common stock outstanding.

The projected price range for

United Parcel Service's

initial public offering of 109.4 million class B common shares was raised to $47 to $49 a share, from $36 to $42. UPS said it could reap $5.058 billion in proceeds based on the middle of the range.