Two Microsofts Will Increase Competition, AGs Say

SAN FRANCISCO (04/28/2000) - State Attorneys General who, along with the U.S.

Department of Justice, asked for the breakup of Microsoft Corp. into two separate companies, today said their proposal represents the "least intrusive" action necessary to stop the software behemoth's anticompetitive behavior, while benefiting consumers.

Other options considered by the states, Iowa Attorney general Tom MiIler said in a teleconference following the filing of the proposal, included breaking up Microsoft into a series of "Baby Bills," which would have resulted in more confusion and less value for consumers and Microsoft shareholders.

"We believe consumers will benefit from enhanced competition and innovators will be encouraged to develop new software products and services and prices will come down for businesses that rely on these products," Miller said.

The proposal was supported by 17 of 19 states that joined with the Department of Justice in the suit against Microsoft. Miller said.

Ohio and Illinois however, filed a statement recommending that a three-year time frame proposed for behavioral remedies be extended to see if Microsoft would restrain its anticompetitive conduct, Miller said.

"The Attorney General of Ohio and I differ with our colleagues only in our belief that the goals of the litigation can be achieved without reorganization at this time," said Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan in a statement issued earlier this afternoon.

(More details to follow.)

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