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Media Advisory: September 6, 2001

For Immediate Release
Nicholas Provenzo
: (703) 625-3296   

CAC Applauds DOJ Decision to Abandon Push for Breakup of Microsoft

Alexandria, VA—The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced that it would no longer seek a breakup of Microsoft in remand proceedings before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It also informed Microsoft that it does not intend to pursue further proceedings on the tying count of the original antitrust complaint. 

According to Center for the Advancement of Capitalism (CAC) President Nicholas Provenzo, “Today’s decision represents yet another victory for Microsoft. The Department of Justice has finally accepted it does not have the legal case for divestiture.” 

“What remains to be seen,” says Provenzo, “is how aggressive the DOJ’s regulators will be in seeking a conduct remedy for the remaining charge of monopolization. As long as this case is active, Microsoft faces significant threats to its property and its ability to conduct business. So while today’s decision by the DOJ has reduced the threat to Microsoft, the threat that remains is significant.”

“The government’s last standing claim against Microsoft is that the firm illegally maintained a monopoly over PC-based operating systems,” says Provenzo. “This is so patently absurd it defies explanation. Microsoft earned its position by providing value to customers, it maintains its position by providing value to customers, and it can only keep its position in the future by providing value to customers. Yet somehow Microsoft still faces the charge of coercion.” 

“To comply with the spirit of this last charge against it, Microsoft would have to choose not to improve its products by adding new features, not to leverage the value of its products when in contract negotiations and not pursue contract terms that it decides are in its own interest. Basically, Microsoft would have take up a policy of self-flagellation to comply with antitrust,” says Provenzo. “That’s just plain wrong.”

“If anything comes out of this case,” says Provenzo “it needs to be a fundamental reexamination of the antitrust laws. Today the Center and its 25,000 supporters reissue our call for the DOJ to end to the Microsoft case and for the Congress to reexamine the antitrust laws.” 

“If there is anything the spectacle of the Microsoft case has shown us,” says Provenzo, “it is just how utterly ridiculous the antitrust laws are.” 

To arrange an interview with any CAC principals, contact CAC at (703) 625-3296 or via e-mail at info@capitalismcenter.org.

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.

Copyright © 2001 The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism
PO Box 16325
Alexandria, VA 22302-8325, USA
Voice: (703) 625-3296 · Fax: (703) 997-1433

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