(Washington, DC) — Today’s announcement that the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit targeting Microsoft’s business practices prompted the following response from Ed Black, President of the Computer & Communications Industry Association:
“CCIA applauds the Justice Department for taking action which will help preserve competition, innovation and choice in the computer and communications industry. By upholding the principles of antitrust law, Justice has demonstrated that no one and no single company is above the law.
“The immediate effect of today’s filing is the public disclosure on many of the anticompetitive business practices which are standard fare at Microsoft. Independent authorities have concurrently, yet separately, concluded that there is substantial evidence of illegal behavior, that the consequences for consumers and our economy are serious, and that strong remedies are justified, and indeed essential.
“CCIA and its many members, including partners, competitors and customers of Microsoft have a 25- year history of involvement in antitrust and competition issues. We are involved, not because of narrow, even if justified, corporate interests, but because the success of our industry has always been based on vigorous competition and innovation. That is our industry’s past and needs to be our industry’s future.
“What Microsoft seems not to understand is that different rules apply to companies which hold dominant monopoly positions. Microsoft’s 90-percent lock on the operating systems market does not give the company carte blanche to hold computer manufacturers and consumers hostage to accept other Microsoftproducts in order to access the operating system.
“No one should diagram for Microsoft or any other company how it should develop products for its customers. What concerns Microsoft’s competitors and many of its business partners is how the company leverages its power as the dominant supplier of desktop operating systems to win marketshare in other areas — whether it’s word processing, spreadsheets, browsers, Internet sites, cable set-top boxes, or retail, travel and financial services. We hope Microsoft gets the message sooner rather than later that industry will support vigorous competition — not a ruthless pursuit of domination. Otherwise, Microsoft may force a steady progression of intrusions into its business that no one in the industry wants to see.”
CCIA is an association of computer and communications industry firms, representing a broad cross- section of the industry. CCIA is dedicated to preserving full, free and open competition throughout our industry. Our members employ over a half million workers and generate annual revenues in excess of 200 billion dollars.