TOPICS > Politics

Judgement Day for Microsoft

BY Admin  June 7, 2000 at 6:00 PM EST

JANET RENO, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: “I’m pleased that the court has ordered a strong, effective remedy to address the serious antitrust violations that Microsoft has committed. The court’s remedy strikes the right balance. The structural remedy will stimulate competition that will have a lasting impact on this important industry, and the interim conduct relief will ensure that Microsoft cannot break the law while the structural provisions are taking effect.

Today’s ruling will have a profound impact not only by promoting competition in the software industry, but also by reaffirming the importance of antitrust law enforcement in the 21st century and the importance of competition.”

TOM MILLER, IOWA ATTORNEY GENERAL: “[Microsoft's behavior] was not innovation… it was reaching for an illegal crutch.”

BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN: ”This is clearly the most massive attempt at government regulation of the technology industry ever, and it was conceived by the government and imposed by this ruling without a single day of testimony or scrutiny. This plan would undermine our high-tech economy, hurt consumers, make computers harder to use, and impact thousands of other companies and employees throughout the high-tech industry.

“Microsoft feels we have a very strong case on appeal. Its important we stay focused on building great software and that people understand that this kind of regulation would really hurt the high-tech economy.

“There are many elements of the government’s proposal that we think go beyond what’s reasonable. It’s not just the breakup, but also the fact that when we do innovative work we have to give it to our competitors, rather than get the benefits of our innovation.

“I think this ruling flies in the face of what consumers experience every day–a high-tech economy that’s lowering prices and bringing out lots of great new products.”

“The court’s order is the right remedy for Microsoft’s serious and repeated violations of the anti- trust laws. It will stimulate competition in the PC operating systems market and throughout the entire computer industry. Customers in a free and competitive marketplace will decide for themselves what software they want to purchase. Neither a monopolist nor the government will dictate that choice… Microsoft has repeatedly abused its monopoly power and violated the law by crushing emerging threats to Windows dominance and specifically by increasing barriers to entry into the PC operating system market…

“Sustained abuse of monopoly power is among the most serious and most damaging of all anti trust violations since it elm the comp that create competition and choice in the market…. Microsoft repeatedly used it operating system monopoly to eliminate threats posed by cross-platform soft products that would have allowed other op systems to compete with Windows.”

JOEL KLEIN, ASST. US ATTORNEY GENERAL: ”The court’s order is the right remedy for Microsoft’s serious and repeated violations of the anti- trust laws. It will stimulate competition in the PC operating systems market and throughout the entire computer industry. Customers in a free and competitive marketplace will decide for themselves what software they want to purchase. Neither a monopolist nor the government will dictate that choice.

“Microsoft has repeatedly abused its monopoly power and violated the law by crushing emerging threats to Windows dominance and specifically by increasing barriers to entry into the PC operating system market. Sustained abuse of monopoly power is among the most serious and most damaging of all anti trust violations since it elm the comp that create competition and choice in the market.

“Microsoft repeatedly used it operating system monopoly to eliminate threats posed by cross-platform soft products that would have allowed other op systems to compete with Windows.”

MICHAEL EISNER, CEO, DISNEY CO.: ”Has Microsoft done something wrong? Have they been a little aggressive? Apparently so, and I think there should be some sort of retribution for that. But I don’t want to see the whole company brought to its knees.” (Comments to CNN)

ED BLACK, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE COMPUTER AND COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION: ”Judge Jackson has wisely and prudently taken action to restore competition to our industry and to reinstate the forces of the free market to guide innovation, pricing, and economic success, rather than the will of a powerful and abusive monopolist. We commend Judge Jackson for the fairness and skill with which he has conducted these proceedings, and the Department of Justice and the State Attorneys General for their diligence and expertise. CCIA believes that the judgement delivered by the Court today responds to the facts elucidated during the 78 days of testimony and the two-year trial, and to the dictates of the Sherman Act and a century of legal precedent.

“We urge the defendant to respect the rule of law, to accept the Court’s ruling, and to join the rest of the industry in a newly competitive and vibrant free market. Microsoft should abandon its public relations, political, and lobbying efforts to undermine this judicial action and confront the consequences of their illegal actions.”

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, ranking member, Senate Judiciary Committee: “This ruling is not unexpected given the clear signals from the bench, but the Microsoft case is far from over. If this ruling is upheld on appeal, the repercussions for consumers, the software industry and the economy are anything but clear right now. Shareholders are now wondering whether this verdict will be sustained; other successful high-tech firms will puzzle over whether this case changes the legal rules for the next ‘killer app’ that gives its developer control over particular platforms and technologies; and consumers are left wondering when they will see the benefits promised to justify this remedy.

There are significant public policy implications here that we should promptly examine in our upcoming hearings. In the meantime, both the government and Microsoft should invest new urgency in reaching a settlement that would bring finality to this unsettled situation.”