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Citizens for a Sound Economy: 'Real' Consumers To Visit Microsoft Trial Tomorrow

on 4/9/02.

News Advisory:

And Now for Something Completely Different..."Real" Consumers To Visit Microsoft Trial Tomorrow

In the latest round of the Microsoft trial, much has been made of what harm has purportedly befallen Microsoft's competitors-the witness stand has been a review of the proverbial who's who of tech industry executives. Precious little has been presented concerning consumer harm or, rather, the lack thereof. In order to shed some light on what consumers really think of the trial and the state attorneys general who have so graciously come to their defense, Citizens
for a Sound Economy (CSE) has brought consumers from ten states to rally outside the courthouse and to express their views to the media.


Consumer Rally


APRIL 10, 1 p.m.


West Entrance Of The E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse

In reality, the Microsoft case is more than three years old, and much has transpired in that time. While far from ideal, the settlement reached between Microsoft, the Justice Department, and nine states should be the last chapter in this case. There never was a good time to pursue this baseless suit, but continuing it now threatens to undermine early signs of recovery, as well as increase the severity of the technology sector's 22-month decline.

Unfortunately, nine state attorneys general and Microsoft's rivals in the software industry do not agree. These nine state attorneys general seek to impose a far more punitive remedy and are quite prepared to hold the economy hostage until their demands are met. But these demands are not only far beyond the scope of the appeals court's decision; they are fundamentally at odds with the interests of consumers. Their plan to restrict the functions that Windows can legally offer would be like preventing car manufactures from selling anything more than a chassis with an engine.

Their demands are so extreme that they want to rob Microsoft of the ability to improve its products, while raising prices, discouraging innovation, and burdening consumers in the process. Oddly, their demands sound an awful lot like the wishes of Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and the lot of Microsoft's most fierce rivals. It's not clear that consumers are in the picture in so far as the state attorneys general are concerned. Let's just hope that these attorneys general don't get their way.

For further information, please contact Erick Gustafson at 202-942-7641.

CONTACT: Erick Gustafson of Citizens for a Sound Economy, 202-942-7641, Web