Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Microsoft = Monopoly?

Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Microsoft = Monopoly?

Article excerpt


Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's long-awaited conclusions in the Microsoft antitrust case were labeled as simple "findings of fact." But by ruling that the software giant built by Bill Gates had ruthlessly stifled competition and harmed consumers, Jackson went further than most experts expected in declaring Microsoft guilty of misconduct as a monopoly.

Gates and his stunned aides indicated that they intended to appeal the decision. But the sweeping nature of the finding suggests that Judge Jackson wants to provoke settlement talks between Microsoft and the government on possible remedies. A settlement would let the court avoid ordering a breakup of a company that has helped drive the growth of the economy.

As a practical matter, the task of achieving a fully competitive playing field in the computer software business, one that encourages competition and rewards innovation, requires the cooperation of the best minds from Microsoft itself. That is why Gates must now ponder whether it is in the interest of his shareholders to fight the Justice Department with more appeals or enter into discussions that achieve these goals. Microsoft should recognize the sweeping nature of the government's victory. Certain facts about its behavior have now been established, and it is in everyone's best interests to achieve a solution.


The New York Times


[Judge Jackson's] NO findings do not represent a final decision in the case. …

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