Microsoft argues 'no monopoly', accuses DOJ of 'bluster'

In papers filed Friday responding to the U.S. federal antitrust lawsuit against the company, Microsoft Corporation argued that that the government was unable to prove that it holds a monopoly in the computer industry. And the world "monopoly" is, of course, at the heart of the government's case: The Department of Justice (DOJ) is hoping to prove that Microsoft illegally gained its monopoly power and then illegally defended that monopoly by bullying partners and enemies alike. Microsoft's closing response, which updated a response issued in August, is the final written argument that the company can make in the case. On September 21, both the DOJ and Microsoft will make final oral arguments before the judge, who will issue his fact-findings in mid-October.

"The fanfare of the trial is over; it is now time to look at what the evidence shows. Despite their bluster, plaintiffs have failed to prove their case," Microsoft's submission to the Court reads.

Microsoft argues in its 700-page response that the government failed to prove its case. Key points include:

  • The evidence shows conclusively that Microsoft's Internet technologies are an integrated part of the Windows operating system, not a separate product as the government has alleged.

  • The evidence also shows that Netscape was not foreclosed from distributing its technology in any significant way, and that Netscape actually distributed 160 million copies of its browser technology in 1998 alone.

  • The evidence--including the testimony of the government's own economic expert witness--shows that consumers have not been harmed by any of the actions the government is challenging. Testimony from the government's own witnesses actually describes how consumers have benefited from Microsoft's integrated product design.

  • The evidence--including testimony from the government's own witnesses--demonstrates that there are no significant barriers to other firms competing with Microsoft, and that Microsoft has not charged and cannot charge non-competitive prices--refuting the government's assertion that Microsoft has monopoly power.
"There's no question that Microsoft competes very aggressively. There's no question that Microsoft has done things that make our products more attractive and more convenient to consumers. But that's exactly what the antitrust laws are designed to promote," said Microsoft General Counsel William Neukom. "And that's exactly what Microsoft's competitors have done, and continue to do."

If you're interested in reading the entire response, Microsoft has posted the document to its Web site

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