TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SAYS HIGH COURT SHOULD HAVE SENT MICROSOFT CASE TO APPEALS COURT | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SAYS HIGH COURT SHOULD HAVE SENT MICROSOFT CASE TO APPEALS COURT

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Media Department
September 8, 2000(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog group, criticized today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately hear the Microsoft Corporation's appeal of the antitrust ruling against it authored by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.  CAGW belives that the case should first be considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.

"The Justice Department's persecution of Microsoft has been riddled with legal irregularities," said CAGW President Thomas Schatz.  "Now the regular appeals process has been circumvented.  It's hard to see how Microsoft can get a fair trial when its foes consistently convince judges to circumvent the normal legal conventions."

Nonetheless, Schatz predicted that Microsoft would successfully appeal the judge's ruling in the case and remain intact.  "The Supreme Court will recognize that the law has been misinterpreted by Judge Jackson and that Microsoft has been denied its Constitutional rights to due process.  Judge Jackson is demanding a swift and draconian dismantling of the world's largest corporation without any genuine opportunity for Microsoft to demonstrate the devastating economic consequences this will cause."

CAGW has long been critical of the government's prosecution of Microsoft.  In February 1999, the taxpayer watchdog group issued a report condemning the government for bungling high tech issues.  CAGW’s efforts to obtain documentation from the Justice Department on the cost of the case has been hampered by the department’s refusal to release more than the most superficial information, despite repeated Freedom of Information Act requests.  CAGW estimates that more than $30 million has been spent by the government to date on this case.

"Now the government will have to spend millions more in the obligatory appeals process to straighten out this mess," Schatz lamented.  "Taxpayers and consumers could have been saved a lot of money if this matter had been settled in fair marketplace competition.  Regardless of Judge Jackson's enmity, the free enterprise system will eventually decide Microsoft's fate."

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

 

 

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