CCIA’s Ed Black reacts to break down of Microsoft/Justice talks

BY CCIA Staff
May 16, 1998

(Washington, DC) — Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) President Ed Black is disappointed, but not surprised, that Microsoft has chosen not to make significant changes to its business practices and will likely face sweeping antitrust litigation from the U.S. Justice Department and some 20 individual states.

“It is unfortunate that Microsoft has apparently chosen to continue its pattern of anticompetitive practices and illegal use of monopoly power by pulling away from talks to resolve these issues without a long and tedious legal battle. Specific remedies are REQUIRED because Microsoft has a demonstrated history of not acting in good faith,” Black said.

“We believe that the Justice Department understands how important this case is to consumers, the technology industry and to a broad spectrum of industries who will come to rely on the Internet and electronic commerce.

“There is symbolic importance to the current case. Just a few years ago, an ineffective antitrust settlement over similar anticompetitive charges against Microsoft resulted in arrogant bragging from Microsoft executives and did not alter the company’s abusive practices. The computer and communications industry and consumers cannot afford to settle this time for anything less than Microsoft’s full compliance with antitrust laws and appropriate business behavior,” he continued.

“The government’s decision to prosecute the case against Microsoft demonstrates that it has substantial evidence of wrongdoing and is committed to consumer choice, competition and innovation. Further, the filing of a lawsuit will facilitate the public’s access to relevant information regarding Microsoft’s ruthless use of its monopoly power.

“Now that Justice has strongly demonstrated its resolve, we call upon additional industry representatives to step forward with information related to Microsoft’s anticompetitive business practices.”

CCIA is an association of computer and communications companies. Small, medium and large in size, these companies represent a broad cross-section of the industry including hardware manufacturers, software developers, telecommunications and on-line service providers, re-sellers, system integrators, third-party vendors and other related business ventures. Our member companies employ over a half-million workers and generate annual revenues beyond 200 billion dollars.

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