Nobel Prize Winners Ask Judge to Reject Microsoft Settlement

Two Nobel Prize-winning economists have reviewed Microsoft's antitrust settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine US states and have subsequently urged Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to reject the deal. The Nobel Laureates--economists Joseph Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow--recently submitted briefs stating that the proposed deal would do nothing to curb Microsoft's illegal business practices. They filed the briefs just before the legally required public-comment phase ended. "\[The proposed settlement\] is missing forward-looking remedies that address such efforts by Microsoft to protect and enhance its existing market power by using its illegally maintained monopoly," Arrow wrote in his brief.

Microsoft argues that competitors such as Sun Microsystems and AOL Time Warner back most of the people and groups calling for tougher sanctions. However, Microsoft backs many of the people and groups who want the judge to accept the deal. "It is well settled that an antitrust remedy should be designed to protect consumers rather than advance the interests of competitors," a brief filed by the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) reads. Microsoft funds ACT.

Today is the deadline for public comments in the Microsoft antitrust case. The DOJ is required to respond to all the public comments within 30 days and then send all comments and associated responses to the judge for review.

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