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DOJ Argues in Favor of MS Settlement

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the no-surprises-here dept.

Microsoft 530

hpa writes: "It is described in this article on CNET the Department of Justice is arguing in favour of the proposed settlement, because the government's case was too weak to impose additional penalties on Microsoft. Somehow this seems like a very odd thing to me, effectively the prosecution is pleading on the part of the defendant..." There's also an AP story.

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$lashdot POLL : (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120340)

The last time i had sexual intercourse was...
  1. Sexual intercourse? Is that an open sorez project?
  2. Last night, and my ass is killing me!
  3. I jerked my junk to Natalie Portman in Episode I an hour ago.
  4. John Katz ass-raped [goatse.cx] me when I was 10, and now I just want to fuck goats.

Troll 34 of 131 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Surprised? (3, Insightful)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120346)

Somehow this seems like a very odd thing to me, effectively the prosecution is pleading on the part of the defendant

It's amazing what a few million dollars under the table can do...

Re:Surprised? (1)

CrackElf (318113) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120357)

_Under_ the table?

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120499)

Campaign contributions from Microsoft to the republican party this last election cycle have amounted to over $680,000. (They've been generous with the democrats as well, totalling at over $450,000). Their total contributions, just over 1.1 million dollars, are ten times bigger than those from any other software vendor, and nearly half of all the contributions from software vendors combined.

Check my source here [opensecrets.org].

Re:Surprised? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120543)

The real question is, will campaign finance reform prevent this kind of thing in the future? Or will big megacorps just find another way of buying off their favorite politicians? Any speculation?

Re:Surprised? (3, Interesting)

CrackElf (318113) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120546)

And every cent of that in over the table legal contributions ... not _Under_ the table as suggested by the poster. Thus emphasizing a problem with the legality of lobbyists ... as a German colleague once said to me ... yeah, every country has some bribery, but at least in our country it is illegal.

Re:Surprised? (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120589)

"$680,000 / $450,000"

So our elected representives are not only whores, but cheap whores at that.


(Not that I can come up with the money to buy my own congresscritter. But as things go, that's popcorn money.)

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

Hugh Kir (162782) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120495)

It's not really about money. The Bush administration is almost religiously pro-business, anti-regulation. I think they'd be on Microsoft's side even if Microsoft didn't give them one red cent. For better or for worse, Bush really does believe letting big businesses do whatever they want without any interference from the government is a good thing.

Heh (1, Redundant)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120348)

I'd be happy just to see this thing finish itself off. I'm all for justice, and penalizing Microsoft for what they've done, but it's hard to do when the plaintiff doesn't even want it anymore.

Just let it go, and let the states get on with their case.

Moreon the DOJ here: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120353)

Link [jpsweb.net]

First Post!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120355)

Oh... well... some day I'll get it. Suckaz.

RTFA (4, Insightful)

pinkUZI (515787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120356)

The article states the the DOJ was explaining why they settled, not defending MSFT.

Re:RTFA (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120501)

there was no need to settle. There was no need to take them to court. It was *absolutely* obvious that they were violating the law. They should have been fined and it should have been done and over w/.

The minimum that should have happened was that they would be fined for 15 years income and taxed on all their income for the past 3 years.

That's me though. You can't listen to me though, I don't know what I am talking about.

Re:RTFA (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120583)

...the DOJ was explaining why they settled, not defending MSFT.

I'm sorry, but it reads like their trying to yank the rug out from under themselves. I don't believe that 'weak' or failure to achieve 'provenence' for a second. This stinks like an effort to futher undermine the non-settling states for political reasons, rather than sound logic. IANAL, but there's a preponderence of evidence on many fronts, even after being found guilty, i.e. Kodak's battle, which Ballmer absolutely refused to back down from, but later relented (probably from someone shouting at him through a bullhorn 'what the fsck are you thinking!?!?'), that Microsoft fully intends to go about business as usual. What could possibly make the DoJ's case easier, and that they're supposed to act in the public interest which means being thorough. Naw, it's orders from Ashcroft or W's cabinet to be lenient on M$. They might as well be an oil company.

It's all up to the states now. (3, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120358)

I don't think anyone expected the DOJ to do anything to Microsoft after the Bush administration hijacked the government. However, there might still be hope in some of the separate state lawsuits. Also remember that the EU is investigating MS.

Just because the DOJ are wusses doesn't mean that MS is totally in the clear.

the doj arent wusses... (3, Offtopic)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120385)

they're whores.

have you seen the amount of contributions given to Ashcroft in the Missouri Senate race by MS? 2nd biggest, right after enron.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (1)

pinkUZI (515787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120395)

...after the Bush administration hijacked the government...

{biting my lip}

Clearly flamebait...

Re:It's all up to the states now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120419)

...the Bush administration hijacked the government

Bush was elected and has experienced one of the highest approval ratings ever. They didn't highjack anything, we had an election. If you don't like it, vote for the other guy. If enough other voters agree with you you'll get your way, otherwise welcome to the minority.

Not getting your way doesn't always mean that something illegal or immoral was done.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120465)

...Although in this case, enough voters did vote for the other guy. Those voters aren't a minority (well, OK technically they're the largest plurality - no one got a majority of the national vote. Of the minorities represented in the election, the largest minority didn't win). Which is why there's some legitimate dispute about the outcome.

Bush's approval rating since the election is immaterial, since it's almost entirely based on the "War on Terrorism", and Americans tend to rate the President fairly highly at the beginning of any sort of armed conflict.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (0, Flamebait)

CiceroLove (323600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120472)

Why don't you check the numbers? Enough of us did vote for the other guy. Bush lost the popular vote. Only an antiquated system allowed Bush and the government to disregard that.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120547)

If enough others did vote for Gore, he'd be president. I don't see anyone working to "fix" that system before the next election.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (2, Informative)

-=Izzy=- (80039) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120473)

Bush was elected and has experienced one of the highest approval ratings ever. They didn't highjack anything, we had an election. If you don't like it, vote for the other guy. If enough other voters agree with you you'll get your way, otherwise welcome to the minority.

Unless of course you live in Florida.

ba da boom.. pissshhhh
sorry..I'll go away now

Re:It's all up to the states now. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120478)

You believe that right up until the point they throw your ass in an internment camp or raid your house because of "terrorist activities."

America is seriously fucked.

Re:It's all up to the states now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120573)

And if I was participating in "terrorist activities" I wouldn't be surprised when that happened. Do you honestly think that drug dealers are shocked when their crack house is raided?

America is a lot less "fucked" than many other nations.

This has little to do with partisan politics (5, Insightful)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120448)

The Clinton administration had no particular gusto with which it pursued Microsoft. Remember, it was under the Clinton adminstration that Microsoft was allowed to skate the first time around.

Face it, Microsoft is a major corporation and, yes, a considerable influence on our economy. No administration (that can actually get elected) is going to gleefully attack them, because they fear the economic effects (yes, I realize that any negative effect would likely be short-lived, and would be more than made up for by the subsequent explosion of new entrepreneurship, but many people don't see things this way).

Took long enough! (1)

ArcSecond (534786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120364)

C'mon. This is hardly surprising. We were all waiting for something like this. Nothing like a new administration to "send a message"... only the message seems to be along the lines of "MPAA/RIAA/M$ Uber Alles!".

But... (1)

sansoo (227144) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120365)

WTF? I thought they had already been convicted, and the appeals court upheld that conviction. This was a reassessment of the penalty phase, right? Any honest lawyers out there? What's going on?

Re:But... (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120564)

Any honest lawyers out there?

You are aware that "honest lawyer" is an oxymoron, aren't you?

The punishment must match the extent of the crime (1)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120574)

They are saying that they can't prove the extent of the crime any further to warrant penalties beyond what they currently have. You have to take what you can get sometimes, you can't always decapitate the criminal, and sometime, you know, you just shouldn't.

of course (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120371)

A settlement is an agreement by two sides as to how to end a lawsuit: why WOULDN'T both sides be arguing for the settlement?

I know what happened (4, Funny)

lblack (124294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120372)

Defense: Your honor, our client committed no crime.

DOJ: Yes, he did. He committed lots. Look, we have evidence.

Defense: Your honor, our client has committed crimes and is sorry.

Judge: Oh, well, in that case.

DOJ: Your honor! We demand a punishment!

Defense: A punishment? Are you some sort of barbarian, with your "punishing"?

DOJ: Your client will be punished!

Defense: Will not!

DOJ: Will too!

Defense: Will not!

[...3 hours later]

DOJ: Will not! I mean! Wait, that was no fair I...

Defense: Ha! Sucka!

Judge: Case dismissed!

-l

Find the Hidden Picture (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120376)

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a|8888888|8888888888888\8888888888|888888|888 888a
t|8888888`.8888888888888|888888888|8888888:8 8888t
s`88888888|8888888888888|88888888\|8888888| 88888s
e8\8888888|8/8888888/88\\\888--__8\\888888 8:8888e
x88\888888\/888_--~~8888888888~--__|8\888 88|8888x
*888\888888\_-~88888888888888888888~-_\8 888|8888*
g0000\_00000\00000000_.--------.______\ |000|0000g
o000000\00000\______//0_0___0_0(_(__>0 0\000|000 0o
a0000000\000.00C0___)00______0(_(____>00|00/00 0 0a
t0000000/\0|000C0____)/000000\0(_____>00|_/000 0 0t
s000000/0/\|000C_____)CmdrTaco00(___>000/00\00 0 0s
e00000|000(000_C_____)\______/00//0_/0/00000\0 00e
x00000|0000\00|__000\\_________//0(__/0000000 |00x
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x66|6666666666|666666666|6666|6666666 |666666666|x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

How the fuck is anyone suprised (-1, Flamebait)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120378)

As if Ashcroft is about enforcing anything but his fucked up, Christian, fucking GOP ideas. And monopoly building is sucking his tit on this. The fucking case was hobbled by the DOJ due to political pressure from that prepubescent bitch, GWB. The elder GWB wasn't quite so fucking stupid, though he was a typical Reganite, but for shit's sake, do they need to make it so fucking obvious that they're beding over for a good rim job?

Re:How the fuck is anyone suprised (1, Funny)

Teh Grammar Patroll (564578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120425)

In the future, please refrain from the use of profanity in your posts.

A word of advice: Gratuitous profanity only gives your audience a reason to immediately ignore every subsequent word that you speak or type.

Re:How the fuck is anyone suprised (1)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120463)

Actually, it caused me to read it to the end.

I only read your comment because I expected it to be extremely stupid. It turned out to be a helpful writing lesson instead. Thanks!

Re:How the fuck is anyone suprised (1)

MantridDronemaker (541253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120479)

So long as you're not suggesting that Bill Clinton and his crew were *any* more impartial.

Re:How the fuck is anyone suprised (2, Funny)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120591)

Sure they were. Clinton and his party took money from everybody, not just American citizens. Now that's open-minded.

Ashcroft is the Taliban wing of White House (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120612)

At least they weren't trying to impose some goddamn "Christian moral values" (=let's cover the Capitol statues because some of them are bare breasted!) on everyone.

Fucking puritan Ashcroft. Take your bible-thumping fundamentalist shit out of this country.

I liked Clinton. I liked him even more after he porked that pretty jewish intern. That made him human -- not some fucking pope or a saint. I was actually hoping he would admit it, but I guess that's too much to ask. The conservative idiot majority would have crucified him for that "sin".

Re:How the fuck is anyone suprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120500)

Read this fun article [almartinraw.com] about the Bushes by an Iran-Contra insider.

I have to say...I like this guy.... (1)

bubbha (61990) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120512)

...sure he curses a lot....but he seems to hate all the same people and institutions I do. He's sort of angry/loveable...

Couldn't make it stick? (5, Insightful)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120380)

"Department lead attorney Philip Beck said that Microsoft was able to hold on to a monopoly in Intel-based operating systems only through anti-competitive acts. But the government was not in a position to make that argument stick, he said."

This seems odd to me, considering that they did "make it stick" --- MS was found to have violated the law, were they not?

Re:Couldn't make it stick? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120444)

If you have enough money the law becomes a whole lot more "flexible." That's the sad reality of all of this..Microsoft has the most money available to them to bribe itself out of ANY situation. The corporation practically has immunity to laws that would rival a UN diplomat, and why? Money. Consider the current government. Microsoft offered a nod to the campaigns with large contributions..this doesn't obligate the administration to work in Microsoft's favour, but the campaign contributions are most likely only a scratch on the surface of the money Microsoft is throwing at the government. Oil companies aren't the only corporations that can operate under the table, so to speak.

It's gotten to the point... (-1, Flamebait)

talks_to_birds (2488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120384)

...that anytime I read or hear a statement made by an employee of Micro$oft, I want to yell:

Liar! Liar! Liar! Liar!

Those people are at least as disassociated from reality as the Nazis who perpetrated the Holocast...

t_t_b

Re:It's gotten to the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120428)

Wow. Quite an accusation comparing them to Nazis but right on target. M$'s payments to the gov't have come to a disgusting point and need to stop

Re:It's gotten to the point... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120433)

Pot.Kettle.Black.

Way to compare the Nazis to Microsoft. Pardon me while I roll my eyes.

In the interests of what passes... (1, Redundant)

talks_to_birds (2488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120449)

...for free speech on /.

Re:It's gotten to the point...
by Anonymous Coward on 12:53 Wednesday 06 March 2002 (Score:1) (#3120428)

Wow. Quite an accusation comparing them to Nazis but right on target. M$'s payments to the gov't have come to a disgusting point and need to stop

t_t_b

what does this have to do with flipping pogs? (-1, Offtopic)

pogmeister (564317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120387)

I can understand not wanting to ruin your pogs by owning a metal slammer, but how will this help me flip a stack? It doesnt now, does it?
You losers who play MTG and other card-based games are losers.
Pogs for ever!
pogmeister

Re:what does this have to do with flipping pogs? (-1, Offtopic)

Teh Grammar Patroll (564578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120455)

Your statement, "You losers who play MTG and other card-based games are losers" offers redundant information and generally makes no sense. This makes you look like an ignoramous. May I please suggest a revision: "You people who play MTG and other card-based games are losers." Or, "In my opinion, people who play MTG and other card-based games are losers."

Also, the word "forever" is one word, not two, as you have it in your post.

Pardon my ignorance... (0, Troll)

annika (518120) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120396)

But how can someone be a monopoly where there are multiple other options? Apple, Linux, etc?

How is anyone prevented from using non-Microsoft software? I've always been able to buy boxes from local small-shop without Windows. I run a totally Microsoft-free life, and don't have any trouble doing so.

Again, this is probably a naive question, but maybe someone could inform me.

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (2, Interesting)

RagManX (258563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120460)

But how can someone be a monopoly where there are multiple other options? Apple, Linux, etc?

This is a point I've always been a bit upset by in this whole saga. I feel it is wrong to say Microsoft has a monopoly. Clearly, there are/have been plenty of options - Linux, Apple, Be, *BSD, etc. However, Microsoft has enjoyed and abused monopolistic powers. That is, MS have a sufficiently large market share such that abuse in a monopolistic manner can occur. Much like Standard Oil wasn't strictly a monopoly, MS is not a monopoly. However, when one company becomes a large enough part of a large market, that company can hold (and usually will abuse) monopolistic powers. I've always worried about MS getting out untouched because of the semantic error of labelling the company a monopoly.

RagManX

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120537)

No. A monopoly is a well defined term. It means that a company has over 80% of market share.

Beyond that, simply *being* a monopoly isn't illegal at all. What is illegal though is using your monopoly to unjustly damage potential competitors.

Clearly MS is a monopoly. Clearly they've destroyed countless competitors with their well known "embrace and extend" and by leveraging Windows.

If they get away without a scratch, it's a travesty. However, I'm willing to bet they will.

Microsoft - The corporate OJ Simpson.

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (1)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120557)

I feel it is wrong to say Microsoft has a monopoly.

As I pointed out here [slashdot.org], a monopoly is not defined as "the only game in town".

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (3, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120468)

Personally, I think that is great for you. And I try to do the same.

But I can't read most of what is emailed to me from a business perspective without MSFT. Heck! I couldn't even submit a resume for a job working on Unix without the document being in WORD. That's whacked.

To take it further -- I can't read Word from Linux unless someone has managed to hack out the latest variation of the DOC format.

Netscape has died as the direct result of Microsoft intervention.

Wordperfect has died as the direct result of Microsoft intervention.

Lotus is mostly dead as the direct result of Microsoft intervention.

And now through SSSCA, all GPL software stands a chance of dying too. Then you will only have Microsoft to work with and you will be labelled an enemy of the state, part of the Axis of Evil

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (5, Informative)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120522)

But how can someone be a monopoly where there are multiple other options? Apple, Linux, etc?

This is a common misconception of anti-trust law (IANAL). Unlike what we were taught by Parker Brothers, a monopoly isn't defined as a 100% market-share. According to the way anti-trust law is applied, a monopoly exists when the average consumer believes there are no viable alternatives. In this particular case, MS has an OS monopoly because the cost of switching is prohibitively high for most end-users. Saying that you can give up most of your existing apps to switch to Linux, or ditch your hardware to switch to Apple is no answer for users.

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120534)

There is nothing stopping anyone from installing another operating system on their computer -- which Techies have had no problem doing. A good part of the argument is for the non-techie end users who drive the biggest piece of the market.

Microsoft has (allegedly) cajoled OEMs into to only offering their OS preinstalled on their systems, thereby making sure that any mom-n-pop out there who wants to buy a new computer will be running Windows.

When you buy your new Compaq/HP/IBM/Whatever desktop/laptop, there's a close to 100% chance that it's already running a Microsoft OS, with Microsoft's Internet Explorer for Web access, and Microsoft's Media Player for audio/video needs, and Microsoft's Outlook Express for e-mail, and quite often Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works for your document/spreadsheet needs.

There's your Monopoly.......

Re:Pardon my ignorance... (5, Interesting)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120555)

When AT&T had a telephone monopoly, people still had the options of...

1) Moving to another country where AT&T wasn't a monopoly.
2) Buying all the land in between their own, and those people they wanted to call, for the purpose of building their own comm system.
3) Writing letters.
4) Doing without. It's not like telephones are a necessity.

So, I guess the courts were wrong back then, they obviously weren't a monopoly after all.

Besides, Linux wasn't an option when Microsoft committed their crimes. Microsoft had, and still continues to have, better than 85% of the marketshare, and is guilty of using it to try to kill both Apple and Linux, and for that matter, everything else which is even remotely a substitute. They're guilty of attempting to turn the internet into a big, sad AOL clone (.NET, IIS extensions that are incompatible with competing products, abuse of html standards) and for no other reason than this would give them more of an iron grip over how you use the net and your computer.

They are guilty, even legally guilty. They are a monopoly not only in the practical sense, but also as defined by law. The executives at M$ don't play fair, and worse, when they force their products onto everyone, those products aren't even half as good as the now dead competitor. So you tell me, how could you ever possibly defend them?

I have 50 karma (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120400)

I have 50 karma. MODERATE THIS!
*unzips his pants*
8============D

Sad state of affairs (4, Insightful)

xirlosan (96461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120406)

It's pathetic when the U.S. Government can take a hard line on terrorism in traditional forms, but is cowed by a multinational corporation that has been demonstrated to be involved in monopolistic forms of terrorism. The DOJ is basically giving up because they're tired of trying to fight Microsoft. What sort of precedent does this set for the Standard Oils of the new millenium?

This government has bowed to corporate interests at every turn. I'd be happy to see a list of cases where individual freedom was held in higher esteem than corporate interests. This is yet another side effect of the US's desire to remain an economic superpower. It has changed from a Representative Democracy to a colossal beauracratic corporation. Perhaps we should call it The United States of America Inc.?

Remember folks, a government that tramples the rights of the citizen is a tyrannical government. There is no leeway for arguement in that.

Re:Sad state of affairs (4, Insightful)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120616)

It's pathetic when the U.S. Government can take a hard line on terrorism in traditional forms, but is cowed by a multinational corporation that has been demonstrated to be involved in monopolistic forms of terrorism.

No, what's pathetic is when someone attempts to make an analogy between cutthroat business practices and terrorism. When's the last time you saw a Microsoftie plow an airliner into a skyscraper, torch a research facility, or form a mob to take to the streets during a meeting?

Godwin's Law ought to be updated...the Nazis aren't the only ones used in flawed reasoning anymore.

Launix rox00rz (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120411)

Microsoft sucks heheheh! ;) Linux is great go Linux!!11

damn it to hell... (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120430)

i am beyond exasperation re: the DOJ... those goddamned lackeys.

even a jurist i do not particular care for, Robert H. Bork, finds the proposed settlement to be utterly unacceptable in its weaknesses... he was interviewed some months ago and the interview was posted at some Linux website... Bork was more than damning of the proposed settlement.

DOJ loves widening! (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120431)

.I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you

May not be big money at all (2, Interesting)

Lewis Mettler, Esq. (553022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120435)

Of course political contributions could be the reason that the DOJ refuses to enforce the antitrust laws even after winning the case. But, it may just be an ideological bent.

The Cato Institute does not really support Microsoft in its defense. It just believes the government should not have antitrust laws nor enforce the ones they have.

To be honest, it is most likely not the money at all.

Of course, telling the judge that the DOJ did not try because she would not order a more appropriate remedy is a waste of breath. One of the reports suggested that the judge was asking if the DOJ position is not at odds with the appellate decision. It clearly is. And, she knows it. She went on to ask "why?".

It all boils down to... (5, Funny)

segfaultdot (462810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120436)

...another /.er's comment i once read:

The DOJ was supposed to come down on Microsoft, but they went down on them instead.

;o

Seriously, this does not suprise me at all, given the priorities of the current administration.

Department of Justice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120446)

Just a whore like all the rest.

Is this what I'm supposed to pay for? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120454)

This type of objective, professional 'journalism'?

You people are laughable lusers. Get a fucking life. Leave Microsoft alone. Try to focus more on what's wrong on your side of the fence. But wait - everything is *perfect* in the land of free everything, right? I keep forgetting that.

=======
Wait - was than an emu? Hmmm.

Re:Is this what I'm supposed to pay for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120619)

You people are laughable lusers. Get a fucking life. Leave Microsoft alone. Try to focus more on what's wrong on your side of the fence. But wait - everything is *perfect* in the land of free everything, right? I keep forgetting that.

Everything may not be perfect in the land of the free, but I don't mind.. Why? Because Freedom is the ability to create change. If it isn't perfect, I can change it.

Argue on in favor of the defense (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120461)

Well, sure, now that Enron's bust, someone's gotta come across with campaign contributions.

Yeah, I don't agree either, the prosecution's job has seldom been easier and case so clear cut. There's an ulterior motive, and probably very transparent at that, not the old Jobs for America thing, either.

GWB (5, Insightful)

marcop (205587) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120467)

GWB, "I prefer inovation over legislation."

It was all down hill after GW Bush started to use the term "inovation" when referring to Microsoft. The conspiracy theorist in me says that he was bought out. Maybe he slipped when he said it?

Re:GWB (5, Funny)

ChadN (21033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120528)

You spelled "innovation" wrong. Although given that it was a GWB quote, perhaps you were quoting him accurately.

Re:GWB (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120567)

Great!

Now please go ahead and eliminate anti-innovation legislation like the DMCA and permanent copyrights.

F*king monkey!

Re:GWB (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120597)

It was all down hill after GW Bush started to use the term "inovation" when referring to Microsoft.

I was about to correct you on your spelling of "innovation", but then I realized that's probably the way Bush spelled it!

Zing!

mark

Re:GWB (2)

pmz (462998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120623)

"innovation" is/was Microsoft's main marketing word. If GWB really said, "I prefer inovation [sic] over legislation," then Microsoft's commercials really sank into him. If Microsoft has successfully brainwashed the U.S. President and the U.S. DOJ, then Bill Gates really is the Dictator of what used to be the United States of America and, soon, will be the Dictator of Earth.

When will the release of Microsoft World Government be on the shelves at Best Buy? I'm sure the stores in Washington D.C. will be sold out within a week.

Knowing When To Say When (2, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120490)

The DOJ, with every detail of the trial available to them, decided that further litigation would not be of further use to anybody. A large number of people with very limited access to the details (but with heavy anti-Microsoft biases) conclude that the DOJ is wrong. Who's right? I know who I'd put my money on. Do you believe that the righteous always win in the courthouses of the United States? Or that the lawbreakers never escape conviction or punishment? Whether or not the settlement agreement is fair is beside the point. The decision to end the trial makes sense. Within the framework that is the justice system of the U.S., it appears the DOJ has gone as far as they can.

apathy (1)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120494)

It always astounds me how everywhere I go, no matter who I talk to, there is a general consensus that Microsoft has done wrong. Even from people who are not necessarily "technologically inclined". Nevertheless the government, after finding them guilty, continues to plea-punish them. ("Microsoft, will you please accept this punishment?") How can people acknowledge there insiduous behavior, see it all around them, then watch their representatives blow it off for the sake of campaign contributions, AND NOT CARE?


it sucks.
--rhad

Do you expect anything else? (2, Interesting)

TheRealSlimShady (253441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120496)

Do you expect it to be any different? The USA isn't interested in a free market, so why would they punish Microsoft? Yesterday, the USA announced 30% tariffs on imported steel in order to protect their own steel workers. If they don't care about the free market between countries, why would they care about the free market inside their own?

Why a settlement at all? (1)

NachtVorst (310120) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120506)

It's probaly at bit late in the trial to ask, but anyways...

Why are they settling at all? Either M$ broke the law, in which case they get their punishment, or they haven't broken the law, and they don't get punished...

This would be like a judge telling me "I think you killed this man, but I can't make the evidence 'stick', so let's settle at, say, half the normal sentence."

Basically they say "we can't prove they're guilty" in which case the old 'innocent until proven guilty' applies (sadly enough in this case)...

Re:Why a settlement at all? (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120577)

You do know that there are plea bargains in criminal trials, as well, right? And it's not proposed by the judge, but as a deal between plaintiff and defendant, and approved (or rejected) by the judge.

They're probably looking for a settlement because, with the record in the Court of Appeals being what it is *and* the previous judge being a publicity-loving jackass who got himself tossed out of the case after giving the appearance of partiality (no evidence required -- merely an appearance of such taints the whole shebang), they DON'T want to basically have to spend another decade wrangling over the proposed remedies.

One opinion (5, Insightful)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120507)

I don't think that there is a good solution to this problem, because for the most part, they seem to be attacking the wrong problem. For most of the trial it seemed that the DOJ and company were attacking the software end of MS, meaning the IE browser, the integrated-ness of the OS and such.
When they should have ignored that completly. They should have attacked their business policys because that's what the problem really is. The problem with MS is that they used their position to destroy all other oses. DR-DOS, IBM-DOS, OS/2, etc. all dissapeared because MS played dirty pool and wouldn't let computer manufactures sell PCs with those OSes without penalizing them for doing so.
It doesn't matter if IE can be removed or not, if MS wants to make it part of their product then so be it. If they want to integrate Office with their os then so be it. It's their product, if you don't like it, complain to MS or don't buy it.
I feel that linux is now a real alternative to windows on the x86 platform. And if you really don't think so, then go buy a Mac. They are also good machines.
I don't know how they can pay for the deaths of the other software they killed by being a monopoly. I don't think that this settlement is enough punishment, but that's a biased opinion.

Charles James (2, Interesting)

Eppie (553278) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120530)

Charles James, the head of DOJ's antitrust division, was a played a significant role in the formulation and enforcement of the DOJ's antitrust policy under Reagan. It was Reagan's DOJ that walked away from the IBM antitrust case. It's no surprise Charles James is using his prosecutorial discretion to avoid putting the screws to MSFT.

The day Bush won, US v. MSFT was essentially over.

Unbelievable (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120548)

In his presentation before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Justice Department lead attorney Philip Beck said that Microsoft was able to hold on to a monopoly in Intel-based operating systems only through anti-competitive acts. But the government was not in a position to make that argument stick, he said.

"We tried very hard the first time around, and we were not able to do it," he told the court. "The causation issues"--actually proving that point about anti-competitive acts--"would have been an uphill battle that would likely have been resolved against us."

What the hell am I missing here? Didn't the case go against Microsoft and a breakup order was issued? I mean the case WAS PROVED! It was only the punishment that an upper court decided should be reviewed.

This makes it sound like they couldn't prove their case. Would someone enlighten me please?

Re:Unbelievable (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120604)

Yeah, that statement is what is really at issue.

MS was found to be guilty of anti-competitive acts. To really have an hope at a breakup, the DoJ would have prove clearly and without much doubt that they gained their market position through those anti-competitive acts and that those acts harmed consumers.

The DoJ tried a few times to make those allegations stick, and really didnt have much luck. So the essential facts - that MS co-mingled code, are proven. The break-up order however was virtually *laughed* out the door at the appeals court. It isn't terribly often that you see judges condemn other judges work so strongly.

So yes, it was only the punishment but the punishment is the real crux of the issue. To sustain a breakup order you have to meet very specific requirements in the legal world and you have to have a lot of proof - real hard evidence that actual harm was done - not theoretical harm. Think about what happened with the browsers - before MS's tactics browsers were a pay item. Now, they are free and there is more choice. So it looks like they broke the law, but its hard to argue that consumers were harmed by it.

Question... (1)

DiS[EnDeR] (195812) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120549)

Is it economically viable for the DOJ to issue more sanctions against MS? I think they have to be reasonable to protect the interests of 'corporate' america. Sanctions against MS arnt going to have initial positive effects on the market. Effects on consumers versus effects on large markets that depend on MS's software, support and their ability to conduct business have to be weighed before a decision can be made.
Comments?

Not odd at all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3120553)

After all the DoJ is run by appointments selected by George W. Bush and bush said "I prefer innovation over litigation" when asked about the MS trial during his campaign.

Alas, we all hoped... (1)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120558)

...but deep down we all knew it would end up this way. The Department of Justice grabbed Microsoft by their already huge balls and coated them in brass. Now we have a Microsoft with his brass balls which will become even more brazen with their monopoly practices.

Sad but true - Steve Jobs knew the outcome before the trial started. That's why he refused to testify and sent Avie Tevanian in his place.

This is not the settlement you're looking for.... (4, Funny)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120566)

DOJ Lawyer, TK429 : Hey, you Microsoft, Let me take a look at your software!

Bill Glates : This is not the software you're looking for.

TK429 : Ok, this isn't the software we're looking for.

Gates (waving his hand) : We may procede.

TK429 : Ok, these guys look clean, move along.

Mirror (1)

JahDread (457290) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120572)

update WASHINGTON--The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday conceded that it moneyed with Microsoft in part because trustbusters failed to prove part of the basic theory of the antitrust case.
In his presentation before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Justice Department lead attorney Philip Beck said that Microsoft was able to hold on to a monopoly in Intel-based operating systems only through anti-competitive acts. But the government was not in a position to make that argument stick, he said.
"We tried very hard the first time around, and we were not able to do it," he told the court. "The causation issues"--actually proving that point about anti-competitive acts--"would have been an uphill battle that would likely have been resolved against us."
Beck's presentation kicked off a hearing mandated by federal law to determine whether the money is in the public interest.
The Justice Department and a number of state attorneys general in November reached a deal to money their antitrust case against the software titan. Nine other states declined to join the money and are pursuing their antitrust efforts along a separate track. Hearings on the continuing litigation are scheduled for later this month.
Both Beck and Microsoft attorney John Warden argued that the proposed money is in the public interest, and Warden agreed that the government got as much as it could.
"Without causation, there's nothing to remedy," Warden said. Moving ahead with further litigation to determine a remedy--that is, penalties against Microsoft--would not have gotten the government anything more, he said. "One doesn't get two bites of the apple."
The settling states are scheduled to make presentations later Wednesday. A number of third parties also are scheduled to make 10-minute presentations to the court, among them the American Antitrust Institute, telephone company SBC Communications and the ProComp trade group. AAI receives funds from Microsoft competitor Oracle, while ProComp is backed in part by AOL Time Warner, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.
Beck quoted from comments submitted to the Justice Department by SBC and ProComp questioning the money's legitimacy. Like many other critics, they argued that the scope of the money is insufficient because it would neither limit Microsoft's monopoly nor put an end to it.
ProComp had argued that Microsoft's "monopoly power would have dissipated" if not for anti-competitive acts committed against Netscape Communications' browser and Sun's Java language.
But Beck said the Justice Department failed to prove this during the original trial and later during an appeal of the original verdict. The Court of Appeals upheld the earlier finding that Microsoft was a monopolist that employed anti-competitive tactics; the court also threw out the original penalties imposed. Although the ruling by the appeals court upheld a major charge
against Microsoft, it left other claims by the wayside, and the government would not have gained more by continuing with trial proceedings than it can get through the money, Beck said.
"We are constrained by the case" as it was originally shaped, Beck said.
The middleware question
A key issue in the morning session was that of middleware--applications that interact with the operating system--which was at the heart of the original case. The government originally argued that Microsoft, perceiving that Netscape and Java could replace Windows, used anti-competitive means to preserve its monopoly.
At point, Kollar-Kotelly questioned whether the money adopted a different definition of middleware than the one put forth by the Court of Appeals.
"The short answer is no," said Justice Department attorney Philip Malone. According to the court's definition, he said, "middleware refers to software products that expose their APIs (application programming interfaces)."
But Malone also said that the money does lay out a more specific definition of middleware for the benefit of those offering competitive, non-Microsoft software. "That's what the decree really seeks to protect," he said.
If litigation had continued, Beck said, the Justice Department questioned whether "the government would be able to provide a broad definition of middleware."
During his presentation to the court, Warden, the Microsoft attorney, said that the company considered the money's definition of middleware--including its Windows Media Player and Outlook Express--to be a major concession on its part, since Microsoft itself doesn't identify those products that way.
The money, he said, "greatly expands the Court of Appeals definition of middleware."
Warden emphasized that Microsoft made many concessions, including a pledge to disclose client/server programming protocols--a move that went "far outside the case as tried," he said.
He addressed the question of why Microsoft moneyed if it believed it made unnecessary concessions. "The parties (in the case) have been repeatedly urged to money by the courts...finally by this court, in the firmest of terms, on Sept. 28," he said.
The terms were "the price of money," he said. He described the Justice Department and the nine states involved in the deal as "hard bargainers."
"Microsoft wanted to achieve certainty about the road going forward," he said, emphasizing that the company wanted to improve its relationship with antitrust enforcers. "Litigation is not good for an individual or a company," he said.
Even in conceding the limits of the government's case, Beck emphasized its successes. "It was a major victory and accomplishment," he said.
Based on the original ruling and that of the Court of Appeals, "We believe we have negotiated an excellent decree," he said.
But in looking at the language of the appeals court decision and what the Justice Department was able to obtain through the money, the government is satisfied that it cut a deal that is in the public interest and that exceeds the mandate of the court of appeals, Beck said.

Re:Mirror (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120601)

Yeah, just in cast CNET gets slashdotted. Fucking dumbass. The least you could have done was format it properly, but it's not like it matters since everyone will be able to reach the article anyway. Congratulations, shitface.

It seems the Judge is reserving judgement (1)

rolfpal (28193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120594)

I may be wrong, but reserving judgement would be a good thing since she may hear about the nine litigating states proposals etc. prior to pronouncing judgement.

Can the DOJ be taken off this case? (5, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3120600)

Just a question.

It is my belief, and i know the belief of most of the people on slashdot, that the DOJ is currently neither acting in the best interests of the american people or acting to see the law of the united states of america upheld.

Whether from "contributions" or bribes, or from the simple republican belief that laws should keep quiet and go play alone in their room and leave the nice Important People alone when they're trying to make money (now run along now. shoo), the DOJ seems pretty clearly to me to be currently of the belief that microsoft is doing a good job and should be let loose from the responsibilities of the good of the american people or either the letter or intent of the antitrust laws. Put plainly, the executive branch is currently against the idea of antitrust regulation.

However, it is not the executive branches job to make the law. That is the job of the legislative branch. And the legislative branch has declared anticompetitive behavior to gain monopolistic control over a market harmful and illegal. And it is not the executive branches job to decide whether extant law is valid and worthy to be carried out. That is the job of the judicial branch. And the judicial branch seems in this case to want the law to be carried out.

But it is the executive branch that is currently trying to end this. So i ask: can they be removed from this? In any way? I know nothing of law-- this is why i am asking. Can citizen groups sue to state that the prosecution of this case should be taken out of the hands of the DOJ and into the hands of the EFF or some specially-appointed board? Can the judge appoint some kind of Special Master or Special Prosecutor or someone who will be picked to actually attempt to push for the most stringent judgement possible for microsoft? (REMEMBER, it is NOT the job of the prosecutor to decide what is just. It is the job of the prosecutor to argue for the strongest judgement possible, the job of the defendant to argue for the weakest judgement possible, and the JUDGE to ensure all arguments are reasonable and find the most just and legal balance behind all. The judge should be unbiased. The prosecution is not really intended to be someone unbiased against the defendant, so it doesn't matter if the prosecutor is someone picked by Sun or Oracle or whoever; whether biased or no, the prosecutor should *act* biased against the defendant, because that is their *job*.) Can we declare John Ashcroft tainted because he recieved campaign contributions from microsoft, and have him chineese-walled away from the case?

Don't police officers and judges and FBI agents and Attourneys General of the United States of America have to swear to protect the american people and uphold the law? If the people currently trying to short-circuit the case against microsoft make it clear they are against in this case the upholding of the law, are they violating those oaths? Can there be legal repercussions for them in doing that?

A quick note to those responding: I am not *particularly* trying to start a flamewar (flamewar bad. informative comments good. HULK SMASH) on whether the doj SHOULD be blocked out of the microsoft antitrust case. I am not 100% convinced it is the best thing (just mostly :) ) The question i am asking is, technically, legally, is this a thing which is an *option*; asking "is there a law by which Sun or whoever can sue to have Bush appointees taken away from this case", not "if Sun sued under such a law, would they succeed". Is it possible under the laws of the U.S.. But respond how you will. Thanks..
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