Microsoft, Opponents Roll Out Big Names in Tunney Act
Although the cast is made primarily of well-known characters, mostly uttering already familiar lines, the latest scene in Microsoft's antitrust wrangling consists of thousands of pages of public comments, including some from renowned economists and politiAlthough the cast is made primarily of well-known characters, mostly uttering already familiar lines, the latest scene in Microsoft Corp.s antitrust wrangling consists of thousands of pages of public comments, including some from renowned economists and politicians. After reviewing the comments in what is known as the Tunney Act proceeding, the court will determine whether the settlement is in the public interest. The Association for Competitive Technology in Washington, one of dozens of parties filing in support of the settlement, introduced some new faces into the debate with a letter from former attorneys general Griffin Bell and Edwin Meese III, and former White House Counsel Boyden Gray. Bell, Meese and Gray bolstered ACTs position that the proposed settlement addresses the liabilities found by the Court of Appeals and that alternative remedies proposed by nine states pursuing litigation exceed the scope of the courts findings. ACT contends that the litigating states remedies would be harmful to consumers by not allowing Microsoft to continue selling the Windows unified operating system, on which many software developers depend. The settlement proponents also maintain that the states plan for a Special Master to oversee the implementation of remedies would require the federal courts to assume a regulatory role.
Criticizing settlement opponents for siding with "very wealthy and successful" Microsoft competitors, ACT President Jonathan Zuck told reporters that his association represents the majority view. "I think it is very easy for us to turn this into an intellectual arms race in Washington," Zuck said. "But the time for Sun and Oracle to get back to producing products and not lobbyists is now."