TAXPAYER WATCHDOG APPLAUDS TRADE GROUP'S PRO-MICROSOFT BRIEF

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi
January 31, 2000 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) — Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog group, today applauded the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) for its amicus curiae brief filed this morning in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust suit against the Microsoft Corporation.

"ACT's friend-of-the-court brief explains that Microsoft's competitive business practices are not illegal because they do not harm consumers," remarked CAGW President Thomas Schatz.  "Since DOJ's antitrust litigation is designed to protect Microsoft's competitors, not consumers, the judge should find that Microsoft did not violate antitrust law."

CAGW estimates that the federal government has spent $30 million in its pursuit of Microsoft.  However, DOJ has rebuffed CAGW's Freedom of Information requests for data on how much has been spent.  "Every one of these supposedly harmed consumers is also a taxpayer," said Schatz.  "Those taxpayers are being forced to pay for a prosecution that will hit them in the pocketbook again when prices go up in a government-regulated software market.  That kind of double-whammy has the potential to seriously harm the economic growth that has been driven by the high tech industry."

Schatz noted that Microsoft has continued to produce new software in a competive marketplace, giving consumers the benefits of rising quality and falling prices that are the hallmark of today's high tech industry.  "While the government prosecutors put on a great show, they were unable to produce one consumer who was harmed by Microsoft's business practices.  Even DOJ's expert witnesses admitted that there has been no harm to consumers.  But there is real harm to consumers in the government deciding who wins and loses in the marketplace.  We hope the court takes ACT's amicus brief very seriously.  It's a common sense, market-based view of how Microsoft and the high tech industry can continue contributing to America's economic prosperity."

In addition to taxpayer watchdog groups like CAGW, and the technology companies which ACT represents, the brief also enjoys the bipartisan support of senior legal officials from the administrations of the last five U.S. presidents.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

 

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