11/7/1999: Microsoft GUILTY of monopoly, does not give up
At the last hour of Friday, the 5th of November, the judge Thomas Penfield Jackson announced his "decision on proven facts" in the case against Microsoft for monopolistic practices. The historical document, of 207 pages, constitutes a durísima condemns Microsoft, since it endorses clearly the practical totality of the theses of his accusers.
In this preliminary decision, one affirms categorically that Microsoft constitutes a monopoly and that has used his predominant position on the market to harm any company that tries to compete with his products. Likewise, there is criticized the integration of the navigator Internet Explorer inside Windows, something that would have been done by intention of damaging Netscape and of obtaining the control of the Internet market. On the other hand, the position of Microsoft on the operating systems market would be so strong that Microsoft might be charging for great Windows more than it would be normal on a competitive market, and the users would have turned out to be harmed, on having lacked a commercially viable alternative.
Before so clear defeat, Microsoft has expressed for mouth of his president, worldwide famous Bill Gates, his "respectful disagreement" with the conclusions of the judge, as well as his disposal to keep on fighting so that his theses end up by going out winning. While, the Departamente of Justice of the USA was not hesitating to celebrate the decision, with the district attorney general Janet Reno like big winner.
A suspense period is opened now with regard to the future development of the events. If this battle was deciding to continue Microsoft even the end for definitely legal means, the final decision might take a long time until the year 2002, although it seems very difficult that it him was favorable. On the other hand, it would not be strange that was trying to come to an extrajudicial agreement with the Departamente of Justice, a possibility aimed from the beginning of the judgment but in that now Microsoft should yield much more than in the beginning nobody was waited.
The solutions, forced or not, happen for a lot of possibilities, like dismembering Microsoft in several companies or turning Windows into a free standard that could develop other companies, in the style of Linux. In any case, they do not wait for importance movements at least up to the definitive decision of the judge Jackson, at the beginning of next year.
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