WASHINGTON (04/05/2000) - Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates was on the losing end of legal battles with U.S. Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein on Monday, but the software billionaire will make nice with Klein's boss' boss, President Bill Clinton, on Wednesday.
Just two days after U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson branded Microsoft an "oppressive" monopolist, Gates will offer his thoughts on the importance of technology during a White House conference on the New Economy.
President Clinton will moderate the Wednesday afternoon session, called "Closing the Global Divide: Health, Education or Technology," featuring Gates along with World Bank President James Wolfensohn, former Clinton Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros and others. Gates will compete for the spotlight not only with Clinton, but also with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose words move markets in economies new and old.
Goldman Sachs stock-picking guru Abby Joseph Cohen and several dozen other leading lights from academia, business and government also are slated to participate in the all-day event. A Microsoft spokesman said Gates plans to drop in on lawmakers from both parties while he's in town. Many members of Congress have followed Microsoft's antitrust trial with interest, and there likely will be hearings to review whatever penalties Judge Jackson decides to impose.
"Bill is going to Washington at the president's invitation to discuss the role of technology in the economy and global development," says Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray. "This is an opportunity for [Gates] to discuss, along with Alan Greenspan, President Clinton and a number of key leaders, some of the key issues he feels passionate about."