TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS FINDINGS OF FACT RULING | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS FINDINGS OF FACT RULING

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Jim Campi
November 6, 1999(202) 467-5300

 

Citizens Against Government Waste says Justice Department has spent $30 million to discover what America already knows – that Microsoft is a tough competitor.

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) condemned the findings of fact in the U.S. v. Microsoft case as an unjustified attack on the software manufacturer.

“Judge Jackson bought the government’s side of the case hook, line and sinker,” remarked CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “He went out of his way to berate the world’s most successful and innovative company simply for being a tough competitor.”

In his ruling, Judge Jackson argues that Microsoft may have prevented certain innovations from being made available to consumers, but he fails to specify just what they might be.  “The findings of fact conclude that consumers have been harmed, but they do not elaborate on what prices should be charged for Microsoft’s products,” Schatz stated.

Schatz noted that the findings of fact include copious contradictions and massive misunderstandings about the information technology marketplace.  For example, the judge argues that even Microsoft’s research and development efforts could be viewed as anti-competitive.  Judge Jackson wrote that while Microsoft may not be able to stop all innovation, “it can thwart some and delay others by improving its own products to the greater satisfaction of consumers.”  In other words, it is contrary to public policy and antitrust laws to improve consumer satisfaction.  “The implication is that Microsoft should stop innovation altogether so that some unknown competitor can catch up to its success – an absurd contention, to say the least,” Schatz said.

Judge Jackson’s ruling confirms that the government’s case against Microsoft has been an inexcusable waste of tax dollars.  “The Department of Justice has spent more than $30 million to prove that Microsoft is a tough competitor in a dynamic industry.  I could have told them that for free,” Schatz concluded.  “Pulling the plug on this case now will save taxpayers millions of dollars, and allow Microsoft to go back to helping consumers through innovation and competition.”

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

 

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