CCIA FILES AMICUS BRIEF AGAINST MICROSOFT

BY CCIA Staff
February 1, 2000

Washington, DC- Today the Computer & Communications Association (CCIA) filed an amicus brief against Microsoft at the United States District Court. CCIA filed the briefing on behalf of their memberships’ vital interest in the future structure of the computer software industry and its dependency on whether or not they can thrive in a fair, innovative and competitive environment.

The Justice Department and 19 State Attorneys General independently concluded that Microsoft was breaking the law. Federal Judge Jackson concluded that Microsoft is a monopoly, and grossly abused its monopoly power in violation of the law in a way that harmed competition, innovation and American consumers.

Consumer choice and innovation was limited in one of the few high-tech markets where consumers now lack real choice: operating systems for personal computers. It was established that Microsoft Window’s has had a monopoly in this important multibillion-dollar market. Enduring because the huge number of applications that run only on Windows making it virtually impossible for another operating system to compete effectively. Moreover, the firm repeatedly used its monopoly power to stifle new technologies that threatened competition to emerge.

CCIA president & CEO Ed Black states: “The findings of the trial were of tremendous importance to consumers, the entire technology industry, and anyone who uses personal computers. One of CCIA’s principal missions is the preservation of vigorous, fair and open competition, because such competition is the bedrock upon which our industry’s innovation and prosperity is based. CCIA is committed to fighting policies and practices, whether by government or monopolists, which threaten competition. This case has tremendous importance for much of the high tech industry, including the computer, telecommunication, software, and Internet sectors. The best way to continue dynamic growth in our industry is to ensure that competitive and market forces continue to drive innovation.”

It is the intention of this brief to bring about an outcome, that would have computer programs no longer needing a specific operating system; and computer users who are no longer dependent on Windows. Restoring their ability to choose among different operating systems leading to lower prices, and better products, and open competition.

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