government takes sides

Byron S. Pruitt (
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 15:48:01 -0500

As if I needed another reason, but today's DOJ announcement of a $1 =
million a day fine levied against Microsoft for antitrust violations is =
a great reason for voting Libertarian. I have only seen the Nando News =
story which I have snipped the following:

"This is a very serious abuse," said Assistant Attorney General Joel I. =
Klein, head of the antitrust division. He said Microsoft's action was =
designed to undermine the dominant market position of Netscape.

Internet browsers are important, Klein said, because they "could erode =
Microsoft's operating system monopoly" in the Windows operating system. =
"This kind of product forcing is an abuse of monopoly power and we seek =
to put an end to it."

The Justice Department objected to Microsoft's requirement that computer =
manufacturers who want to license the Windows 95 operating system also =
license its internet browser, known as Internet Explorer. Most personal =
computer makers install Windows 95 at the factory.

Klein said, "These are two different products." He said they should be =
sold as two separate products and denied the government is taking sides =
in the battle for market share between Microsoft and Netscape, whose =
browser is known as Navigator.

"Each of Microsoft's products should compete on its own merits," Klein =

Microsoft's new browser software blurs the line between personal =
computers and the Internet. By working closely with Microsoft's Windows =
95 operating software, Internet Explorer lets people easily point and =
click between desktop files and Web sites.

"Anyone can give away a browser, but no one can force it onto a computer =
desktop unless you have monopoly power," Klein said. Antitrust law does =
not bar monopolies achieved by a company's talent and ingenuity, but =
does prevent abuse of that monopoly."

If this is not a bias intervention, then what is? Love Microsoft, or =
hate it. But, I cannot see how this action is justified. How can =
someone like Klein determine when something is done through "talent and =
ingenuity" or "abuse." I have been using I.E. 4.0 since its early beta, =
and personally, I would say it errs more on the side of "talent and =
ingenuity." Even more insidious, in my opinion, is someone in the DOJ =
determining what is and what isn't an OS component.



Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can =
change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead