U.S. government: Microsoft is a monopoly

Microsoft Corporation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) made their closing arguments today in the seemingly never-ending antitrust case against the software giant. The DOJ accused Microsoft of illegally maintaining and abusing their monopoly in an attempt to enter new markets and squash competition. The meeting before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson is the last before final ruling, which could come as early as October. Most analysts expect the judge to rule rather quickly.

"There are no other lawful situations in which a company has done what Microsoft has done,'' said DOJ lawyer David Boies. "Microsoft used its power to squelch potential competitors, to keep them from emerging.''

"Microsoft's unshakable stranglehold has cost consumers untold millions, probably hundreds of millions of dollars,'' said Stephen Houck, the lead lawyer for the nineteen states that are suing Microsoft along with the federal government. "Microsoft is like the emperor without clothes: Everyone knows, including Microsoft, that it's a monopoly.''

Microsoft, of course, argues that the government's case is invalid and that it's claims--especially about it seeking to destroy Netscape--are erroneous.

"America Online's acquisition of Netscape has rendered ridiculous" the claim that Microsoft has a monopoly, says Microsoft lead lawyer John Warden, noting that in the ever-changing world of computing, anything can happen at any time.

"In the world of Microsoft, the only constant is change," Warden said during his own closing argument

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