PublishedSeptember 6, 2001

CCIA Dismayed By Justice Department Decision

Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today expressed its dismay at the Department of Justice’s decision not to seek the most effective remedies in its case against Microsoft.

Said CCIA President and CEO, ED Black, “As the District Court and the government plaintiffs originally concluded, structural remedies are the most effective solution to prevent Microsoft’s continuing illegal and anticompetitive behavior, which has been unanimously condemned by nine Federal judges and, as recently as last week, European enforcement officials. The only difference between now and when the Department of Justice originally concluded a break-up order was necessary and appropriate, is that Microsoft’s market share has ballooned, their monopoly strengthened, and their practices even more anticompetitive.”

Recalling past breaches of imposed behavioral remedies, such as the 1995 consent decree, Black stated, “Microsoft has demonstrated time and again that through their sheer power and immense wealth, they can easily evade behavioral remedies designed to constrain their unlawful activity. They have treated with contempt the authority of the Justice Department, the State Attorneys General, and the European Union, steadfastly maintaining that they will not allow the laws of antitrust to apply to them.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals decision on the Microsoft case restated the long-standing judicial precedent that any remedy must ‘terminate the illegal monopoly, deny to the defendant the fruits of its statutory violation, and ensure there remain no practices likely to result in monopolization in the future.’ It is hard to imagine conduct remedies that could satisfy this mandate. Even complex, heavily regulatory remedies that would complicate Microsoft’s operations do not necessarily advance the real goal of restoring and promoting fair competition,” said Black.

Black concluded, “While Justice is saying they are taking these steps to obtain ‘prompt, effective and certain relief for consumers,’ we fear that conduct remedies are unlikely to be effective and will likely signify that it is business as usual for Microsoft.”

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