CSE Foundation Finds that American Consumers Question the Government’s Case Against Microsoft

At a press conference on the steps of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) Chairman and former Bush White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and CSE Foundation’s Executive Vice President Matt Kibbe released the results of a Wirthlin Worldwide poll that indicates American consumers are skeptical of the government’s case against Microsoft.

Gray stated, “The Department of Justice and Microsoft’s competitors have been talking about the needs of consumers. CSE Foundation, represents over 250,000 real consumers, so we commissioned Wirthlin Worldwide to conduct this poll. We think the findings support what CSE Foundation has been saying all along. A clear majority of those polled (52%) believe this case is not about ‘protecting consumers,’ but rather, it is about helping Microsoft’s competitors at the expense of the American public.”

Kibbe commented, “The Department of Justice claims to know more than consumers. In reality, Americans who buy software know exactly what they want and how much they are willing to pay. Fewer than one-third of those polled (32%) think that the government filed this lawsuit to help consumers.In fact, there are other companies that offer competitive products in the marketplace. Microsoft beat them to the punch, and now some companies are trying to use the government to get what they couldn’t in the marketplace. Should the government force the Chicago Bulls to give up Michael Jordan because the Bulls are too good?”

“The marketplace is dynamic and changing all the time. Twenty years ago, people thought IBM was the 800 – pound gorilla. Today Microsoft’s competitors make the same claim. Tomorrow, who knows? The recent merger between Netscape and America Online has created a $4 billion company with 14 million online subscribers. In the marketplace, consumers get to decide who wins. Four out of five Americans polled (81%) believe Microsoft is good for consumers.

The government is just wasting taxpayer dollars pursuing a case that the court of appeals has already rejected. The fact that they are still pursuing this case is just plain ridiculous,” concluded Kibbe.

Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation (CSE Foundation) represents over 250,000 members and believes that a strong and vibrant free-market economic system offers the best hope for creating opportunity and improving the quality of life for every citizen in America.