REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 5, 1999 — Microsoft Corp today said the District Court’s findings of fact in the antitrust lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department do not reflect the phenomenal competition and innovation in the software industry and that consumers make decisions based on the best products in the marketplace. Microsoft said the company will continue to defend the principle of innovation and pointed out that today’s findings are just one step in an ongoing legal process that has many steps remaining.
“We remain committed to resolving these issues in a fair and responsible manner as quickly as possible.”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“We understand that Microsoft has a responsibility to provide leadership on behalf of consumers and the industry. As part of that, we have a responsibility to protect the principle that has made America a leader in technology – the freedom to innovate on behalf of our consumers.”
“Our industry is intensely competitive and innovative, creating great value for consumers and millions of new jobs.”
“Microsoft’s products are popular because we’ve focused on our customers and innovated to meet their needs,”
“In this industry, no company has a guaranteed position. Microsoft has succeeded because we have been guided by the most basic American values: innovation, integrity, serving customers, partnership, quality and giving to the community. We compete vigorously, but fairly.”
Microsoft said Friday that it was continuing to review the findings of fact issued by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.
The Court recognized in paragraph 408 of its findings that consumers have benefited from Microsoft’s actions:
“The debut of Internet Explorer and its rapid improvement gave Netscape an incentive to improve Navigator’s quality at a competitive rate. The inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows at no separate charge increased general familiarity with the Internet and reduced the cost to the public of gaining access to it, at least in part because it compelled Netscape to stop charging for Navigator. These actions thus contributed to improving the quality of Web browsing software, lowering its cost, and increasing its availability, thereby benefiting consumers.”
“We believe the American legal system will ultimately affirm Microsoft’s position, and conclude that Microsoft’s innovations have brought tremendous benefits to millions of people,”
said William H. Neukom, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel.
Gates said Microsoft will continue to build great technology and address customers’ needs.
“As we work to resolve this lawsuit, our 30,000 employees will stay focused on developing innovative new products. Our industry is so competitive and the technology is changing so rapidly that we have to keep our focus,”
Friday’s findings of fact represent an interim step in the ongoing antitrust case, which was announced by the government on May 18, 1998, and went to trial Oct. 19, 1998. Once the two sides have had the opportunity to analyze the Court’s findings, the Court will schedule a similar process leading up to its conclusions of law and a ruling, which could occur sometime early next year.
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