November 5, 1999
Center Condemns Judge’s Finding of Fact in Microsoft Antitrust Case
Spotsylvania, VA. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's "finding of fact" in US vs. Microsoft, released earlier today, is an unjust assault on achievement and ability, according to The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. The judge's finding declares Microsoft to be a dangerous "monopoly" that has used its power "unfairly" to run competitors out of the market.
"The essence of this finding," according to the Center's Chairman, Robert W. Tracinski, "is the declaration that extraordinary success in business is dangerous and must be stopped. It is a notice to all the creators and achievers in this country that condemnation and punishment will be their reward for striving to succeed."
The current ruling does not say whether Microsoft broke the law, nor does it say what the company's punishment will be. But it does declare Microsoft to be a danger to the "public good." This conclusion, says Tracinski, is false both factually and philosophically.
"All that Microsoft has done is to produce and improve its product and offer it for sale on the free market—where customers are free to take it or leave it. The idea that this constitutes a dangerous form of coercion is false on its face. But even worse is the idea that, while Microsoft's action on the free market is dangerous, the genuine coercion wielded by Judge Jackson's court is beneficial."
Tracinski says that the real threat to consumers, and to the extraordinary growth of the computer industry, is not Microsoft's business practices, but the coercive remedies being sought against Microsoft. That is why, he concludes, Judge Jackson's finding of fact should be condemned for making Microsoft a target for destructive government actions ranging from court-administered regulation to the forcible dismantling of the company.
The mission of The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism is to present to the public a moral defense of individualism and economic freedom. The Center undertakes projects and activities designed to communicate its message to the public, the press, and policy leaders, targeting issues central to a moral defense of laissez-faire capitalism.