PublishedJanuary 22, 1998

CCIA Praises Wisdom of Microsoft/DOJ Contempt Settlement

(Washington, DC) — Ed Black, President of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) called today’s settlement between Microsoft and the Justice Department to end contempt proceedings “a significant victory for our industry and for consumers.” He said, “this agreement allows for continued legitimate competition in the browser market and provides computer manufacturers and consumers with choice. And perhaps more importantly, the agreement puts Microsoft in compliance with Judge Jackson’s December order to provide manufacturers with a version of Windows without Explorer while also restricting the company from forcing computer manufacturers to install its browser as a condition to keep the Windows operating system license.

“The settlement does justify our belief that Microsoft has been disingenuous in its claims that it was impossible to provide a functional updated version of Windows without the Internet Explorer browser. We have argued in our brief to the Court that Windows and IE are two distinct products and that a browser is not part of a computer’s operating system,” Black said.

“I think the implications of this settlement are obvious,” he continued. “Microsoft simply should have complied with the Judge’s order in good faith. The company’s assertion that it was not technically possible to do so — when the settlement proves otherwise — has likely impaired the credibility of other technical arguments Microsoft may offer as the case proceeds. Clearly, Microsoft’s strategy of defiance appears to have failed,” Black added.

CCIA filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting the Justice Department’s litigation against Microsoft. Copies of that brief can be obtained from CCIA’s web site at www.ccianet.org.

CCIA is a 25 year old association of computer and communications industry firms, dedicated to preserving full, free and open competition for the entire industry. Small, medium and large in size, these companies represent a broad cross-section of the industry, employing over a half million workers and generating annual revenues beyond 200 billion dollars.

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