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NPR's All Things Considered Updates
Broadcast 05/11/1999, Story 3

This is n. p. r.'s all things considered i'm noah adams and i'm robert siegel a federal judge in the microsofts and he trusts trial has ruled that the company does have a monopoly power

In his initial ruling a finding of fact the judge said microsoft use that power to control prices and hurt consumers is only a preliminary ruling that it shows that the government has proved a key point in the case n. p. r.'s larry abramson reports justice department officials could barely contain their glee how clearly the judge has taken their stock

Assistant attorney general joel klein called the decision a victory for consumers can the american economy

Then the judge agreed with the core allegations in the government says microsoft is a monopolist and engaged in massive

Anti competitive practices that harmed innovation and eliminate consumer choice this is truly an important victory

For america's consumers and for the american economy the judge's finding of fact those carefully to microsoft's role in the software industry he says that microsoft's share of the market for operating systems he is very large and very stable the judge knows that there is a high barrier to entry the operating system market because companies that might develop rival operating systems would have to spend huge amounts of capital before they could expect a return on their investment

Because of the basic fact the judge said consumers have little choice but to buy windows unless they want to promote the benefits of the vast majority of computer applications

Reading from the decision joe klein also said the judge agreed with the government's contention that microsoft responded aggressively when other companies threaten its monopoly through its conduct with netscape i. b. m. compaq intel and others microsoft has demonstrated that it will use his prodigious market power and immense profits

To harm any form that insists on pursuing initiatives to continue to intensify competition against one of microsoft's more products the federal government was joined in its suit by the attorneys general of nineteen states connecticut attorney general richard blumenthal said the judge's decision preliminary though it may be supports a key point that the judge believes microsoft's behavior harm consumers or three correspondents here

Microsoft has a monopoly it has abuse that monopoly

And it has harmed consumers as the judges found very specifically in an immediate and easily discernible way

Those are serious and far reaching

Violations that should lead to serious and far reaching remedies microsoft conceded reluctantly that the judge's ruling appeared to be in the government's favor the company held a news conference in which he o. bill gates said he respects the leaders agreed with the decision gates and his lieutenants insisted they were undaunted said that while the legal process moves forward they would simply focus on producing what they called great software products

Other executives emphasized that the judge has not yet ruled on whether the company violated anti trust law that decision will come in the judge's findings of a lot expected later this year and microsoft's general counsel bill newcomb said he was confident the final judgment would be in the company's favor we think that microsoft actions

Have been entirely normal competitive

Here we think that there is no segment of the u. s. economy for any economy in this world that is more intensely competitive

It provides more rapid innovations for consumers and the industry of computer software markhasev officials struggled to find something positive in this decision but the company will have more chances to influence the judge still hear more legal arguments from both sides as he prepares to issue his findings of law should that were legal against microsoft the world there will be more arguments and perhaps more evidence before the judge offered any remedy

Microsoft is almost certain to appeal any judgment against it but his early findings indicate that the world's largest software company had a lot of work to do before it wins any sympathy from judge jackson larry abramson n. p. r. news washington

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