FC: Microsoft judge: Proposed punishments help rivals, not consumers

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 01 2002 - 18:58:21 PST

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       Rivals come up short in decision
       By Declan McCullagh 
       November 1, 2002, 6:00 PM PT
       WASHINGTON--U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said
       Friday that she rejected harsh antitrust punishments for Microsoft
       because they would unfairly benefit its competitors. 
       In her strongly worded decision, Kollar-Kotelly said that the remedies
       proposed by nine state attorneys general were so outlandish that they
       amounted to an "unjustified manipulation of the marketplace" designed
       to give competitors such as Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, and Red
       Hat an "artificial advantage."
       In a 344-page decision, Kollar-Kotelly dismissed many of the proposals
       as based on a misunderstanding of antitrust law and the purpose of 32
       days of remedy hearings this spring.
       "Microsoft's competitors appear to be those who most desire these
       provisions and, concomitantly, are the likely beneficiaries of these
       provisions, while other competitors in the relevant market would not
       necessarily benefit. In bringing these types of proposals before the
       court, (the states) again misunderstand the task presently before the
       court," Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
       Richard Green, a vice president at rival Sun Microsystems, testified
       during the remedy hearing in March that Microsoft's Java Virtual
       Machine was unfairly incompatible with his employer's. But
       Kollar-Kotelly said Sun's complaints were merely an attempt to attack
       a competitor.
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