News Release

Microsoft Case


Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled on Friday evening that Microsoft is a monopoly. The following analysts are available for interviews:

Director of the Consumer Project on Technology, Love said: “Judge Jackson took a large step toward reining in Microsoft, the company that exercises huge power in markets for software for personal computers. The decision is a significant victory for the Department of Justice and for the public. The court has determined that Microsoft engaged in a litany of anti-competitive actions, bullying PC computer manufacturers and engaging in numerous actions of technological terrorism against Microsoft’s competitors. Judge Jackson’s decision is sophisticated with respect to the technology, and placed a significant emphasis on ‘interoperability’ issues, laying the foundation for remedies that make it easier for Microsoft rivals to develop software that would work with Windows. The extensive detail regarding Microsoft’s strong-arm tactics with PC manufacturers suggests possible remedies regarding Microsoft licensing practices, and the extensive record regarding Microsoft’s failure to deal with parties in good faith suggests the court may entertain structural remedies such as breaking Microsoft into more than one company.”
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A law professor at Western Michigan University who has published a number of law review articles on antitrust law and the Microsoft case, Hawker said: “Judge Jackson has found that Microsoft’s operating system monopoly presents a clear and present danger to the continued vitality of competition in the computer industry. Yet the question remains whether the government and the courts will follow through on these findings of fact and eliminate this threat to competition by adopting a strong remedy such as breaking up Microsoft or forcing it to license the Windows source code to other software developers.”

Beacham is a New York City-based writer specializing in technology criticism. Even before Friday’s decision, Beacham says, Microsoft’s domination of personal computing was starting to crack, with computer industry competitors now less fearful of offering alternative technologies to Microsoft’s Windows. Said Beacham: “Though Microsoft still holds a monopoly in personal computing, I think the emperor is now without clothes. From their repeatedly botched legal strategy in the trial to their overpriced and mediocre software products, the whole public spectacle has cost them the respect of the public and made people realize there are now alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167