Thursday, July 24, 2003

Antitrust News: Microsoft Corp. Progressing in Settlement

Ted Bridis of the AP reports that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is pleased with Microsoft's antitrust settlement compliance efforts.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly cautioned the software maker during a court hearing that she will continue to monitor its behavior under the agreement but acknowledged that Microsoft "most certainly has been responsive in many areas, and progress has been made." She set another court hearing for October.

"I am going to watch closely," the judge said.

[. . .]Kollar-Kotelly urged government lawyers to tell her if they believe Microsoft fails to comply with sanctions under the settlement. A Microsoft lawyer, Rick Rule, told the judge that the company has spent "an enormous commitment of resources" to abide by the agreement and that top executives believe compliance "is an important corporate goal."
I wonder how much of a "commitment of resources" it would take to secure the repeal of antitrust. I understand that Microsoft wants to put this case behind it, but speaking from a dollars and cents view, what strategy would have paid off the best for Microsoft--seek the abolition of antitrust, or pay rent to competitors?

I wager it would have paid for Microsoft to push for repeal. Long term, if Microsoft is successful, antitrust will continue to weigh heavily upon it. You just can't "put behind" legalized looting, no matter how good you are.

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