Legal experts in Hong Kong say Microsoft could still continue its monopolistic business practices outside of the United States, depending on the settlement the software giant reaches with the US Government. While US District Court judge Thomas Penfield Jackson did not suggest ways of breaking Microsoft's monopoly in his ruling on the landmark antitrust case on Friday, lawyers say any changes would almost certainly address the bundling of the Windows operating system with personal computers. Officials from the US Justice Department also said they would not rule out the possibility of breaking Microsoft up into several companies. Bina Cunningham, a partner at law firm Denton Hall's intellectual property practice who has had experience of European antitrust law, said the ruling would have a 'very far-reaching impact involving software bundling issues and access requirements to the licences'. 'The ruling's jurisdiction is really only in the US. How this might affect Hong Kong, too, would depend on specific rulings on the bundling, licensing matters,' Ms Cunningham said. 'This, however, from experience would definitely affect Microsoft's market share and you will probably see less of a dominance,' she said. But Howard Tsang, an intellectual property partner at Vivien Chan and Co, said the US court could rule that the judgment be extended to Microsoft's business outside the US. 'Microsoft is a big global company so the effects will probably be felt in Hong Kong even though Hong Kong is outside the jurisdiction of the US court,' he said. Another lawyer who did not want to be named said the judge ruled that Microsoft was operating in a particular way which seemed monopolistic but stopped short of saying that Microsoft was a monopoly. 'The judge isn't saying that Microsoft is guilty because a judgment hasn't been reached yet,' the lawyer said. It was difficult to speculate on the implications of the ruling for Hong Kong as there was no antitrust law in Hong Kong and, as such, there could be no breach, he said.