Re: what if microsoft disobeyed the breakup?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 21:57:56 MDT

> >What if they announced that if the state attempted to break them up, then
> >they were sorry, but they couldn't then be bothered to fix the bug in their
> >OS that would destroy the data on every system using it in the near future?
> I think the smartest and coolest thing would be if Bill Gates announced, one
> week before the presidential election, that unless the case against MS is
> dropped withing 20 days, he would be selling - no, make that giving away (to
> the flat earth society) - all his stocks in every company that he owns, and
> that microsoft would be disolving, that all microsoft buildings would be
> converted to storage bins, and that all cash assets he has, except for a few
> million living expense, would be dumped into the ocean.

Unfortunately, that's 15th-century economic thinking. Microsoft doesn't
have "hard" assets like gold, land, or even semi-hard ones like cash.
Almost all of their value, and far more than is represented by the stock
owned by Bill, is shareholder trust that he won't do silly things like
that, backed up by "fiduciary responsibility" laws and contracts that
would bite him if he did. The only real assets he might be capable of
destroying are tapes full of source code and maybe customer lists, but
even if he did all that, and sold his own shares and flew to Argentina,
the executives and working folk of Microsoft, their business practices,
their associations with other businesses, and every other value they have
would still make the company a powerhouse. Wyatt can light his refinery
and walk away, but today's Wyatts can't.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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