TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SAYS FACTS FAVOR MICROSOFT IN ANTITRUST CASE | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SAYS FACTS FAVOR MICROSOFT IN ANTITRUST CASE

Press Release

For Immediate Release   Contact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
August 10, 1999(202) 467-5300

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog group, once again called upon the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop its costly antitrust case against the Microsoft Corporation, condemning the suit as a massive waste of tax dollars.  Today's action by CAGW comes in response to the Proposed Findings of Fact submitted by both sides in the case.

“These Findings of Fact have confirmed the concerns CAGW has held since the beginning of the Microsoft case,” said CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “DOJ is squandering millions of dollars and has failed to prove that a single consumer has been harmed by Microsoft's competitive actions in the ultra-competitive information technology industry.”

Schatz pointed to the numerous changes in the marketplace that have occurred since DOJ began its pursuit of the software manufacturer.  “America Online has purchased Netscape, creating a huge new competitor.  Just in the last few weeks, that competition has intensified over new instant messaging technology.  Time is passing the government by.”

“If the government moves forward with its case, innovation and competition will be replaced by government intervention,” Schatz continued.  “Every consumer that the Justice Department claims to represent is also a taxpayer.  While the Justice Department has been unable to prove consumer harm in this case, CAGW believes that there is real harm to those taxpaying consumers in pursuing this case.  Win or lose, the taxpayers are out at least $30 million.”

Last February, CAGW issued a report on government bungling of high tech issues.  Among its findings was an estimate that DOJ had already spent $30 to 60 million on the antitrust case against Microsoft.  CAGW's efforts to obtain documentation from DOJ on the total cost of the case continues to be hampered by the department’s refusal to release information in spite of repeated Freedom of Information Act requests.

“The Department of Justice doesn't have the facts on its side,” concluded Schatz.  “The case should be dropped now before another dime of taxpayer money is wasted on this fruitless effort.”

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

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