MS/DoJ: Govt details charges against Microsoft

The US federal government and 19 US states allege that Microsoft engaged in illegal "monopoly maintenance" to protect and extend its market dominant Windows PC operating system software and then tried to monopolize the Internet browser market, according to court papers filed yesterday.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) along with attorneys general from the US states and the District of Columbia allege that Microsoft violated the Sherman Act, the cornerstone of the nation's antitrust laws, in at least four different ways. Among the other allegations made in the court papers are that Microsoft engaged in a variety of illegal business practices, including tying its Web browser to Windows, entered into exclusionary agreements with computer makers, Internet access providers and content providers, and impaired competitors' access to consumers.

The filings come as the historic antitrust case enters its final phase. US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had asked the parties to file proposed findings of law after he ruled last month on the facts in the case. In those findings of fact, Jackson indicated that Microsoft has a monopoly on Intel-based PC operating system software and that the company has used that power to hurt consumers, stifle innovation and thwart competition.

Microsoft has until January 17 to file its own proposed interpretation of how the law should be applied to the set of facts Jackson issues. After that, the two sides each can submit rebuttals. Oral arguments are scheduled for February 22.

Yesterday's court filings allege that Microsoft violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act "through a host of actions that illegally maintained the critical barrier to entry into, and hence its monopoly in, the market for operating systems for Intel-compatible personal computers," according to the document.

Secondly, the document also alleges that Microsoft violated Section 1 of the act by illegally tying its Internet Explorer Web browser to its Windows operating system. A third allegation states that Microsoft also violated Section 1 of the act by entering into "exclusionary" agreements with personal computer manufacturers and with ISPs, online service providers and Internet content providers. Lastly, "Microsoft's anticompetitive campaign to impair (Netscape Communications' rival Web browser) Navigator's competitive access to consumers constituted an unlawful attempt to monopolize the browser market," a Section 2 violation of the Sherman Act.

The DoJ filing is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?