Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today praised the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold the key monopoly maintenance charge against Microsoft. CCIA President and CEO Ed Black said “In upholding the most serious of the Sherman Act violations found by the District Court, this Court of Appeals, considered the most predisposed to support Microsoft, has signaled that it too understands the gravity of Microsoft’s illegal behavior. The foundation therefore exists for an equally serious and effective remedy.”

“Today’s decision by the Court of Appeals confirms the correctness of the determinations by the U.S. Department of Justice, nineteen State Attorneys General, and a Federal District Court that Microsoft was guilty of serious and massive violations of antitrust law. The decision confirms what the overwhelming evidence showed: Microsoft has consistently used illegal business practices to sustain an entrenched monopoly at the expense of consumers, innovation, and our economy. The Court also left for further District Court proceedings the question of whether Microsoft illegally tied its browser to its monopoly operating system.”

“This is one of the largest and most important antitrust cases in the last 25 years. It will help define the rules of engagement for the new economy,” said Black. He continued, “Today’s ruling by the Appeals Court is a powerful statement because it underlines the reality that even the ‘new economy’ cannot be based on lawless anticompetitive behavior. A monopoly company may not practice predation, nor institute other exclusionary barriers to competition. ”

Recent actions by Microsoft make clear the importance of this decision. Despite the efforts of legal authorities, Microsoft has been undeterred and continues its unlawful behavior as it seeks to expand its entrenched monopoly from the desktop to the Internet. Its announcements on Hailstorm and the .NET platform illustrate that the company has no desire to reform. Said Black, “It is clear to us that Microsoft’s goal is nothing less than to illegally proprietize, control, and dominate the Internet. Today’s ruling supports this view and demonstrates that despite all of the conjecture, all of the posturing, Microsoft is an abusive monopoly which, if left unchecked, will do great damage to consumers, to the openness, innovation, and competitiveness of the high-tech industry, and to the economy.”

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