CAGW CALLS FOR AN END TO WASTEFUL MICROSOFT LITIGATION | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW CALLS FOR AN END TO WASTEFUL MICROSOFT LITIGATION

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
February 25, 2001(202) 467-5300

 

Washington, D.C. – As the nation watches the government enter another phase of its costly and wasteful effort to tear down the Microsoft Corporation, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today called for an end to the massive waste of tax dollars on the lengthy litigation.  On February 26 and 27, Microsoft will appear before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, seeking to overturn a trial court finding that it broke the nation’s antitrust laws and called for splitting the company in half.

“Taxpayers are already on the hook in this case for at least $35 million at the federal and state level.  The question is how much more time and money will be wasted,” CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz said.  “Even worse, this litigation could have been settled a year ago were it not for the intransigence of the 19 state attorneys general, as well as the outspoken negative views of Microsoft by the district court judge.”

Last year, Microsoft had gone as far as signing a draft settlement agreement.  But the hard-line demands of the state attorneys general broke down the negotiations and led to the current protracted litigation.  The lead attorney general in the case, Tom Miller of Iowa, said the states are committed to pursue the matter to the bitter end.  His state has already spent 3,220 hours and requested reimbursement of $1.1 million in the case.  Apparently, even if the Court of Appeals rules against the government, the states will continue their jihad against Microsoft.

Also of concern to taxpayers is the cost of sending the case to another judge at the district court should the appeals court reverse and remand Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s decision.  It appears unlikely that Jackson would remain involved in the case following his comments outside the courtroom.  He compared Bill Gates to Napoleon; said that Microsoft officials acted like children; and that Microsoft’s lead attorney was “not very smart.”  He also admitted that he took the Justice Department and states’ position to breakup Microsoft because he was unable to devise his own remedy.

“Before consumers and taxpayers suffer further damage to their pocketbooks and portfolios, the state attorneys general should reconsider their win-at-any-cost strategy.  It will apparently take a demonstration of public outrage over the damage this lawsuit has caused to consumers, taxpayers, investors and the economy for the state attorneys general to know when it’s time to settle.  CAGW will continue to mobilize taxpayers throughout the nation to demand an end to this wasteful litigation,” Schatz concluded.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with more than a million members and supporters, dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government.

 

TOM SCHATZ IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS ON THE MICROSOFT CASE.

Sign Up For Email Updates


Optional Member Code