Microsoft, Government Submit New Documents in Federal Antitrust Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 10, 1999 — Microsoft and the government today submitted their Revised Proposed Findings of Fact in the federal antitrust trial. Based on written testimony, in-court testimony, documents and other evidence from throughout the trial, these documents set forth each side’s position in the case. The documents submitted today are revisions to the Proposed Findings of Fact both parties submitted to the Court last month.

Microsoft’s Revised Proposed Findings of Fact reiterates the company’s key arguments that the government has failed to prove any of the major elements of its case, and that the facts show that consumers have benefited greatly from Microsoft’s efforts to support the Internet in the Windows operating system.

“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 states.

The nearly 700-page document lays out in significant detail how the evidence contradicts key government claims and supports Microsoft’s position. In particular:

  • 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.

Microsoft’s Revised Proposed Findings of Fact expands on the original findings document the company filed in August, sharpening several points and including even more evidence and analysis to show that consumers have not been harmed by Microsoft’s actions and that many of the government’s allegations are not supported by the facts. The company also directly confronts the government’s Proposed Findings of Fact, pointing out contradictions and misrepresentations throughout the document filed by government attorneys on August 10.

“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 H. Neukom. “And that’s exactly what Microsoft’s competitors have done – and continue to do.”

Following oral arguments, scheduled for September 21, the Court will weigh the evidence and render its own Findings of Fact. A final decision in the case is not expected until late 1999 at the earliest.

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