Consumer News Release
For immediate release - Friday, November 29, 2002
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699
States Will Not Appeal in Microsoft Case
Following is a statement of Attorney General Tom Miller, who has served as lead State Attorney General in the Microsoft Antitrust Case:
Seven states and the District of Columbia will not appeal Judge Kollar-Kotelly's decree in the Microsoft antitrust case. We will move on to enforcing the decree on behalf of consumers and fair competition.
Our colleagues from Massachusetts are appealing the decision, and we wish them well. There are serious issues subject to appeal. West Virginia will make its decision by Monday. [The States that pursued the remedy phase are: CA, CT, FL, IA, KS, MA, MN, UT, WV, plus DC.]
For most of our states, it is time to dedicate our resources to enforcement of the decree and the law.
Microsoft broke the law. That was the judgment of the Federal District Court and a unanimous U.S. Court of Appeals. The company was judged to be a monopolist that abused its monopoly power and violated the nation's antitrust laws.
Microsoft will pay the States $28.6 million. As is traditional when the plaintiff prevails in an antitrust case, Microsoft will pay the States $25 million for their attorney fees and costs of the litigation.
Microsoft also is paying $3.6 million that the States will use for continued enforcement and compliance. The compliance funds will be used by the states for an aggressive enforcement effort. The States retain the option of asking the courts for additional enforcement funds.
The case exposed the company's illegal practices, and now the world looks differently at Microsoft. Indeed, the world is watching Microsoft's conduct. Competitors, entrepreneurs and the public are watching. The Court - which retained jurisdiction - is watching the conduct of Microsoft. And the States are watching. We will be vigilant and hold the company to compliance, to make certain that Microsoft does not abuse its extraordinary market power in violation of the law and the Courts' decisions.
We made progress in the remedy phase that will help enforcement. Now there is a court-ordered decree. Loopholes were closed. We strengthened the ability of entrepreneurs to create and offer products and "cool new things" that would work with Microsoft's Windows operating system. The Court strengthened enforcement procedures by ordering independent Microsoft board member oversight and requiring a compliance officer to report if there are possible violations, and the Court retained jurisdiction in the case.
This antitrust case has been good for competition, good for innovation, good for business, and, most important, good for consumers in all our states. We will continue to pursue these benefits through vigilant enforcement.
[END of statement.]
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