For Immediate Release:         Contact: Jim Campi
June 24, 1998  (202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – In a letter today to Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) President Thomas A. Schatz commended the senator for his efforts to hold the Justice Department’s antitrust division accountable for its aggressive pursuit of the Microsoft Corporation.

“I applaud Sen. Gorton for his efforts to prevent the Justice Department from increasing funding for its antitrust division and his demand for full disclosure of how much is being spent on the Microsoft suit.” Schatz said.

Sen. Gorton is pushing an amendment to the FY 1999 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations measure which is critical of Joel Klein, the head of the antitrust division, for his public statements and extensive travel regarding the government’s lawsuit against Microsoft.  Gorton’s amendment would block Klein’s request for additional funding for the antitrust division, restricting its budget to the $98 million originally requested by President Clinton.

“CCAGW joins with Sen. Gorton in demanding a full accounting of the money used to date for this action,” Schatz said. “For example, how much is being spent on travel to publicize the case versus gathering information?  The money being spent on this case should instead be used to solve the government’s serious problem with the Year 2000 computer glitch.  With the clock at 556 days and running, many federal agencies are staring at a disaster.  Instead of suing Microsoft, the government should be begging them for help.”

“Yesterday’s federal appeals court decision that Microsoft did not violate its agreement with the government by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95 completely undercuts the central point of the government’s current case against Windows 98.  Various experts have cited the decision as ‘big trouble’ for Mr. Klein and the antitrust division.  The three-judge panel held that it is undesirable to have the courts oversee product design and that any dampening of technological innovation is counter to the purpose of antitrust law.  This should remove any doubt that Sen. Gorton is doing taxpayers a favor by preventing the waste of tax dollars on this ill-advised lawsuit.”

CCAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to enacting legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.


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