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NPR's All Things Considered
Broadcast 11/04/2000, Story 7

It's n. p. r.'s all things considered i'm noah adams and i'm robert siegel a consulting firm apologized today for soliciting letters to the bush campaign about the microsofts antitrust suit microsoft hired century strategies a consulting firm founded by former christian coalition leader ralph reed read as an adviser to bush's presidential campaign

Century strategies admit to a few people were asked to write to bush but microsoft insisted is not looking for gently treatment under a possible bush administration

N. p. r.'s larry abramson reports century strategies release the apology after news reports today disclose the relationship with the bush campaign does report said that century strategies was involved in a carefully constructed effort to enlist the help of influential bush supporters they were reportedly asked to write letters to push seeing the american people were opposed to the government's antitrust suit against microsoft

Today century strategies admitted to requests were inappropriate but we term said the effort at all to reach a few people quote in the course of a broader program to encourage citizens to express their views to presidential candidates of both parties including al gore and bill bradley unquote

And microsoft today underscored that it has contracted with return for over a year on various grassroots campaign spokesman mark murray said that microsoft hires many consultants to publicize support for the company but he denied microsoft was looking for a way out of that the antitrust will this week

Dole believes the two thousand election are going to have any impact on the floss this lawsuit was filed back in nineteen ninety eight it's working its way through the courts we believe we have a very strong case on appeal and we believe we're going to have to win this case

In the court system this incident aside many analysts have speculated that microsoft is hoping a change of power in washington could at least three two year terms of a possible settlement of the case but it's not clear that even the most direct efforts at reaching bush would get microsoft off the hook even if the justice department were to lose interest in the case the company will have to contend with nineteen states attorneys general who are parties to the suit tom miller is the a. g. for iowa a step up

The two parties uh we will not accept any administration that will try and give a big unfair on to break a microscope

Legal experts say in the justice department could offer to settle in any time that's happened before in nineteen eighty two the reagan administration pulled out of the anti trust action against i. b. m. and push for a settlement of the suit against a. t. and t. but in those cases ended before a judgment in the microsoft case a federal judge has already ruled the company has violated anti trust laws

Brookings institution economist robert reich and says that even if the new administration tried to settle the case the judge would be watching

Any new administration coming to office would have to reach some kind of accord that does something the microsofts because there is this verdict and any settlement reached i have to be certified by the district court judge as in the public interest

The judges are ready but the penalty phase of this case on a fast track and could issue his final ruling by the fall of the senate microsoft appeals the justice department may try to rush the case right to the supreme court with how to stop that the court of appeals that would mean a new administration would have to take a very visible stepped up pulling out of a case that at the very end of the legal process larry abramson n. p. r. news washington

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