Government Refutes Microsoft Arguments

WASHINGTON (01/26/2000) - The snowstorm that shut down Washington yesterday didn't stop the legal back-and-forth in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust case. The government filed a rebuttal to the company's arguments that largely restated its previous positions -- but with more flourish and sting.

"Microsoft fought a multifront campaign, using a broad array of anticompetitive tactics that reduced rather then enhanced consumer choice, to sustain the critical barrier to entry protecting its monopoly power," the government said.

The government was dismissive of Microsoft's defense, accusing it in parts of having "nothing of substance to say" and evading the arguments raised by trial Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in his findings of fact that the company is a monopoly with nothing to fear.

The legal papers are a prelude to courtroom arguments scheduled next month, the expected final step before the judge issues a verdict.

The government has accused Microsoft of violating antitrust law, which Microsoft denies. Both sides are meeting with a court-appointed mediator in an effort to arrive at a settlement. The prospects of any kind of settlement remain bleak.

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