PublishedJune 7, 2000

Statement of Ed Black, President and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association on Judge Jackson’s ruling in U.S. v. Microsoft

Washington, DC- Judge Jackson has wisely and prudently taken action to restore competition to our industry and to reinstate the forces of the free market to guide innovation, pricing, and economic success, rather than the will of a powerful and abusive monopolist. We commend Judge Jackson for the fairness and skill with which he has conducted these proceedings, and the Department of Justice and the State Attorneys General for their diligence and expertise. CCIA believes that the judgement delivered by the Court today responds to the facts elucidated during the 78 days of testimony and the two-year trial, and to the dictates of the Sherman Act and a century of legal precedent.

We urge the defendant to respect the rule of law, to accept the Court’s ruling, and to join the rest of the industry in a newly competitive and vibrant free market. Microsoft should abandon its public relations, political, and lobbying efforts to undermine this judicial action and confront the consequences of their illegal actions.

However, as with the dismantling of other monopolies, Microsoft is not likely to be pleased by this result. CCIA was a participant in the Justice Department’s previous action to divest the Bell monopoly, and we experienced a similar reluctance by the Bell system to accede to the government’s plan to reorganize the phone system. Twenty years later, we have witnessed an explosion of new telecommunications services, plummeting phone rates, and exciting new products and technologies. This ruling paves the way for greater innovation and advances for consumers in our industry as well.

Should Microsoft continue to reject the legal authority of the Justice Department and the 19 States, and the overwhelming findings of fact, conclusions of law, and ruling by the District Court, we are hopeful that their appeal will be heard directly by the U.S. Supreme Court under provisions of the Expediting Act. Microsoft’s illegal monopoly has been allowed to endure for too long, and they should not be allowed to continue to use delaying tactics to perpetuate the harm they have done to free markets in our industry.

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