Microsoft requests dismissal of case Antitrust allegations aren't substantiated, it tells the court


September 09, 1998|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON -- Microsoft Corp. said yesterday that antitrust allegations against it by federal and state enforcers are unsupported by the evidence and should be thrown out by a federal judge.

In a 48-page filing, Microsoft also said one of its biggest rivals -- Netscape Communications Corp. -- confirmed for the Justice Department that Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser is "seamlessly integrated" into Windows 98.

Federal and state antitrust enforcers allege that Microsoft illegally tied these two separate products together to thwart competition from Netscape and other browsers.

In a March letter to the Justice Department, Netscape told Justice Department antitrust chief Joel Klein, "We are totally unable to provide examples of files that can or can not be deleted from Windows 98 it is simply not possible to delete any portion of Internet Explorer without severely interfering with the operating system."

The letter was cited by Microsoft yesterday in its filing.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson will hold a hearing Friday on Microsoft's motion to dismiss the case or sharply limit its scope.

In May, the Justice Department and 20 states filed antitrust suits against the software giant, alleging it engaged in a pattern of anti-competitive behavior intended to protect its Windows monopoly and extend it into related areas such as browsers used to get information from the World Wide Web. Windows 95 and its successor, Windows 98, run about 90 percent of the world's new personal computers.

In urging the case be thrown out, Microsoft said:

There is no evidence the software code in Windows 98 for browsing the Web can be removed without seriously degrading Windows.

Including the browser in Windows 98 produces clear technological benefits that couldn't be achieved otherwise.

Microsoft's alleged anti-competitive behavior hasn't prevented Netscape or other competitors from getting their products into consumers' hands.

Pub Date: 9/09/98

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