TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS A YEAR OF WASTE AT JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANTITRUST DIVISION | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CONDEMNS A YEAR OF WASTE AT JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANTITRUST DIVISION

Press Release

For Immediate Release   Contact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
May 18, 1999(202) 467-5300

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog group, today noted the one-year anniversary of the Justice Department's (DoJ) latest and most extensive attack on the Microsoft Corporation, an antitrust suit filed on May 17, 1998.  As CAGW reported in an in-depth study last March, DoJ has spent an estimated $30 to $60 million since the early 1990s pursuing it's case against the software manufacturer.

"The merits of this case were questionable to begin with," said CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  "The government never demonstrated that a single consumer was harmed by Microsoft's business practices.  A year later, the government's case has proven to be even weaker than originally thought.  The merger of AOL and Netscape, and other rapid changes in the high-tech industry, prove that it's time to take the competition out of the courtroom and into the marketplace, where it belongs."

Schatz noted several polls have shown that the public believes that the Justice Department is on the wrong track.  "The American people know that they are benefiting from today's highly competitive software market," Schatz continued.  "The Justice Department has spent the last year trying to regulate a market it does not understand. Does the Antitrust Division plan to spend millions more of the taxpayers' hard-earned money on a case driven by a few of Microsoft's jealous competitors?"

CAGW has called for a 35 percent cut in the Antitrust Division's budget for fiscal year 2000.  Schatz said, "It's time to stop the Clinton Administration from attempting to raise taxes through litigation and end its effort to destroy legitimate businesses like Microsoft."

"After a year of folly, it's time for the Justice Department to admit its mistake before one more tax dollar goes down the drain," Schatz concluded.

CAGW is a 600,000-member nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

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