Microsoft Stands Up for Consumers and Innovation

Washington, DC, April 3, 2000 – Consumers and the Competitive Enterprise Institute today praised Microsoft for refusing to sell out consumers’ interests by settling the Department of Justice lawsuit against it. Despite the likelihood of enormous financial repercussions, the company refused to kowtow to the demands of the antitrust regulators.

During a case that seems to be inspired half by the sour grapes accusations of business rivals and half by the egos of Justice Department officials, Microsoft has managed to keep from selling out consumers by giving in to government demands that its future business decisions be made in Washington. The so-called “crime” Microsoft is guilt of – providing high-quality, inexpensive computing capabilities to millions of consumers while creating a common standard – is an achievement that has increased the efficiency of the entire global economy.

Whatever fate Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s ruling has in store for Microsoft and its investors, the rest of the industry can take some comfort that the company never conceded its guilt – never admitted that providing a cheap, heavily demanded product to a willing public is a crime. Cisco Systems, for example, also has a 90+% market share of a key product (Internet routers), and they recently surpassed Microsoft in stock value last week to become the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. Let’s hope that if they are next on the antitrust hit list, they show the same resolve that Bill Gates and his management team have.

For additional comment on the Microsoft ruling, please contact any of the following:

Wayne Crews, Director of Regulation and Competition PolicyOffice: 202-331-1010, ext. 204Evening: 703-237-1227

James Gattuso, Vice President for Policy and ManagementOffice: 202-331-1010, ext. 226Evening: 703-768-7376

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.