Consumer News Release
For immediate release -- Friday, April 28, 2000.
Contact Bob Brammer -- 515-281-6699
Statement of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on Microsoft Remedies Proposed by the States and the U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney General Miller is head of the Microsoft Working Group,of Nineteen States and the District of Columbia.
We are proposing these remedies because the law was broken -- as Judge Jackson concluded so powerfully -- and because the violations seriously harmed consumers and competition.
State Attorneys General are the chief law enforcement officers of their states, and we historically are the strongest advocates for our consumers. It is our duty to enforce the law when it is broken, and it is our goal to protect and restore free competition, which is the driving force for growth and prosperity in this country. This is a law enforcement action.
Microsoft continues to deny any wrongdoing, but we know the law has been broken. Judge Jackson's findings of fact and his conclusions of law are a powerful litany of wrongdoing and harm on the part of an extraordinarily powerful company. Competition was severely and illegally curtailed. The question is how to remedy this violation and prevent this harm in the future.
The decree we propose to Judge Jackson calls for both restrictions on Microsoft's anti-competitive conduct and a reorganization of the company in order to spark competition on the merits through innovation and price competition. It is measured relief. We do not ask for civil penalties. This is a remedy, not a penalty. This is not about money, it is about competition and fairness. It is about the future more than the past.
Certain principles have been our constant guide: First, we want solutions that foster fair competition, consumer choice, and the most innovation. Second, we want to minimize government regulation and avoid judges having to intervene any more than is absolutely necessary. Third, we want solutions that go to work quickly and effectively. The remedies fulfill those principles.
Healthy competition helps the ordinary consumer. Over one-half of American families have computers - but all families need them. We all should be able to exercise free choice of the kind of computer we buy and the services that are available. State Attorneys General believe the proposed remedies will foster the lowest prices and best service for all.
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