Punishment is the next phase

By : |April 5, 2000 0

Next on Jackson’s agenda will be determining what punishment to inflict upon Microsoft. The options before Jackson range from breaking up the company to changing the way it does business. Jackson could prohibit Microsoft from using price as a way to punish clients who deal with competitors and forcing the company to relinquish control of the PC desktop, which is the Windows Desktop deigned and controlled by Microsoft’s Windows OS. This way, future PCs would
likely offer radically different working environments, giving innovative companies a competitive edge.

He could also order Microsoft to license or even surrender, the Windows OS
source code. And while the government dropped its pursuit of a breakup during
recent settlement attempts, Jackson’s ruling may have emboldened Justice
attorneys to ask for the toughest penalty possible.

Joel Klein, who heads the Justice Department’s antitrust division, said the
government will seek actions "that will protect consumers, innovation and
competition by putting an end to Microsoft’s widespread and persistent abuse of
its monopoly power, and to rectifying its unlawful attempt to monopolize the
Internet browser market." Analyst said Microsoft could help its own case by
once again agreeing to settlement talks that could quickly end the entire
affair. For now, however, the company appears determined to tie up the case in
court for years to come and hope for an eventual reversal of Jackson’s

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