Yale Antitrust Expert Comments on U.S. v. Microsoft Settlement

Nov 06, 2001, 00:00 ET from White House Writers Group

    NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- George Priest, antitrust expert
 and John M. Olin Professor of Law and Economics at Yale Law School, offers the
 following analysis of today's developments in U.S. v. Microsoft:
     "The Settlement Agreement between the Justice Department and Microsoft is
 in the public interest because it tracks almost exactly the June 28th legal
 ruling of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  In fact, the Agreement
 goes beyond the Court's ruling so the Justice Department obtained more in the
 settlement than might have been possible in court.
     "In addition to the D.C. Circuit's prohibitions, the Agreement requires
 Microsoft to disclose middleware interfaces and to publish communications
 protocols to allow server interoperability, neither of which issues was a part
 of the original case.
     "Most importantly, the Agreement vastly enhances enforcement by the
 creation of a full-time Technical Committee to move into Microsoft
 headquarters and review and examine all of Microsoft's behavior.
     "The states that have refused to join the Agreement have complaints not
 with the Justice Department, but with the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
 Their complaint is no different from a Yankee fan complaining about giving the
 trophy to Arizona on the grounds that the Yankees were ahead in the 8th
 inning. The remedies they still want, they lost when the Court vacated Judge
 Jackson's Interim Order."
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SOURCE White House Writers Group