Statement By New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer And California Attorney General Bill Lockyer Regarding A Remedy In The Microsoft Case
On June 28th of this year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously held that Microsoft engaged in unlawful monopolization. The injury to the public from Microsoft's unlawful acts is on-going, and, as a result, there is an urgent need for the courts to order relief that protects the public.
The decision by the states involved in the Microsoft case and by the U.S. Department of Justice not to pursue a break-up of Microsoft as a remedy is intended to enable the courts promptly to put into place strong and effective relief that will promote competition and consumer choice in the marketplace.
The dynamic quality of the computer industry necessarily means that part of the remedy must be forward-looking. Therefore, the states of New York and California will insist that Windows XP - Microsoft's latest version of its personal computer operating system, scheduled for marketplace release in the next few weeks - receive close scrutiny in arriving at a judicially ordered remedy. As the U.S. Court of Appeals found, some of the ways that Microsoft unlawfully crushed competition from Netscape included bundling Microsoft's Internet browser to its Windows operating system, and pressuring industry computer makers into refraining from adding Netscape's browser to the computers that they sold. It is imperative that Microsoft not have another opportunity to use Windows XP to suppress competition in emerging Internet areas.
The states are committed to pressing the trial court for stringent remedies that will change the conduct by Microsoft that the courts have found to be illegal, and that will provide consumers with the benefits of competition. We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Justice in the proceedings that are about to begin before the trial court, but will, if necessary to protect the public, press for remedies that go beyond those requested by the Department of Justice.