WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into whether Microsoft illegally tried to pressure rival Netscape into carving up the Internet software market during a 1995 meeting.

The Wall Street Journal says the question at the Justice Department is whether Microsoft tried to use its market leadership position in the software market to neutralize a competitor.

The Journal says the government is preparing a new antitrust case against Microsoft, but hasn't decided whether it will be filed.

The report quotes a Microsoft spokesman as saying the company did not attempt to involve Netscape in collusion.

Microsoft and Netscape make leading programs used to browse the Internet.