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IP: Re: Replies to DoJ's Joel Klein and breaking up Microsoft
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 19:36:12 -0400



[ I agree djf]

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 14:06:38 -0400
From: Lee McKnight <lmcknigh () tufts edu>
Subject: Re: IP: Replies to DoJ's Joel Klein and breaking up Microsoft
To: farber () cis upenn edu
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Dave,

Saying there was no innovation at AT&T is nonsense; where did the 
transistor and
Unix aka Linux these days among other cool things come from?  Saying the IBM
anti-trust case had no impact is also nonsense; the DOJ and European 
competition
policy authorities forced IBM to stop jerking everybody else in the industry
around with vaporware product releases to freeze buyers, and by making them
release their API specs so competitors could interface with IBM products. 
The pc
revolution comes straight out of political and legal actions in Washington and
Brussels.

Microsoft could easily get off the hook by promising to pull an IBM or 
Intel, that
is, by promising to behave in a responsible manner given their potential 
to squash
competition advertently or inadvertently.   Instead, Bill and Steve insist 
they
will remain boys behaving badly, so they are getting a possibly very 
painful slap
not across the wrist but upside the head.

Those counting on Bush to pull Microsoft out of the fire are again forgetting
history - the Reagan White House would not touch the IBM or AT&T cases for 
fear of
the repercussions, and instead delegated to the DOJ antitrust chief to 
transform
the telecoms and computer industries. For AT&T, a sword through the firm 
was the
instrument of choice; for IBM, only the threat was needed to gain the desired
result. Want to bet that a Bush administration would not act the same as
Reagan's?   Now Microsoft has a choice: do they want to die by the sword 
or grow
up?

Lee McKnight


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