DOJ Continues Quixotic Crusade Against Innovation

Oral arguments in the pending appeal of U.S. v. Microsoft are being heard today in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The arguments are only the latest step in a lawsuit nearly three years old. The federal government teamed with attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia and has presented a plan to micro-manage the development of new technology and to punish Microsoft for improving its products while lowering prices to consumers.

Kent Lassman, Director of CSE’s Technology and Communications Policy issued the following statement:

“Despite dramatic changes to the marketplace and a failure to show harm to consumers, the prosecution continues to tilt at Windows. After nearly three years of litigation, taxpayers should expect that the Department of Justice and the 19 state attorneys general would have met the bare legal minimum for punishment. And yet they have not: no evidence of consumer harm has been presented.

The economics of the case are straightforward. The software marketplace is home to vigorous competition. New products and design elements are constantly being introduced. And, prices for key software components have been lowered.

It is time to end the fiction presented by overzealous antitrust regulators and to complete the success-story of the high-tech marketplace. Competition works for consumers while new regulation only helps select competitors.”

Kent Lassman is available for comment.