Microsoft, DOJ on An Uneasy Road

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2001-09-24 Print this article Print

Microsoft Corp. and the Federal Government are headed for a showdown over exactly what remedies should be imposed on the software maker for its anti-competitive behavior.

Microsoft Corp. and the Federal Government are headed for a showdown over exactly what remedies should be imposed on the software maker for its anti-competitive behavior.

The two parties disagreed on nearly every issue in last weeks joint status report filed before Washington District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, leading antitrust experts to caution that the magnitude of the differences could make a negotiated settlement difficult unless compromises are met.

In last weeks filing, the government said it is seeking the conduct remedies imposed by District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the cases original judge. But Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., argued that the recent findings by the Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit had "drastically altered" the scope of its liability under the original order and, as such, those remedies were improper.

But the government disagreed, saying the relief was needed to "unfetter" the market from Microsofts anti-competitive conduct; to deny Microsoft "the fruits" of its violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act; and to "ensure there remains no practices likely to result in monopolization in the future," according to its filing. The filing also made clear the DOJ intends to introduce evidence of Microsofts ongoing conduct, "especially with regard to Windows XP."

Antitrust experts said that while it was no surprise that the two parties had such significant fundamental disagreements, this could make a negotiated settlement extremely difficult.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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