The man who handed Microsoft its most damning legal defeat is leaving his post as the highest antitrust official in the United States, having declared his job complete. The DOJ's Joel Klein announced this week that he will be leave his office at the end of the month. As a political appointee, Klein might have been replaced after the November presidential election anyway, making the timing of his retirement somewhat interesting. However, Klein refused to comment on any future plans.
"I have done what I set out to do here, and our work is on the right track," Klein said in a statement issued Tuesday. Klein played an integral role in the government's lawsuit against Microsoft; in April, a federal judge found the company to be guilty of violating U.S. antitrust laws and ordered it split into two separate companies. The Microsoft case is currently in the appellate phase, and both sides are waiting to find out whether the Supreme Court will hear the case.
Klein will be succeeded by A. Douglas Melamed, who was Klein's principal deputy assistant. Melamed also played a critical role in the case against Microsoft