Microsoft to Respond Wednesday to Final Version of Government Breakup Plan

Published May 31st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Microsoft will submit Wednesday its response to a final version of the Justice Department's proposal that the software giant be split in two, a company spokesman said Tuesday. 

The department on Friday presented US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson with the definitive text of its proposed remedies to correct the antitrust violations Jackson has found the company to commit. 

A court spokesman said the judge had given Microsoft until Wednesday to file an answer to the government's call for Microsoft to be split into two companies, one to develop the Windows operating system and another specializing in software applications. 

The spokesman would not comment when asked when Jackson might issue his final remedy order. But court observers have predicted that he will rule quickly, given that Microsoft has made it clear it intends to appeal. 

The company has already denounced the breakup plan as extreme and unjustified and has instead offered to accept limitations on its business practices as a way of satisfying the court. 

Jackson on April 3rd upheld government charges that the company had resorted to anticompetitive means to maintain its monopoly position in the market for personal computer operating systems. 

He also found that Microsoft had tried to monopolize the Internet browser sector and had illegally "tied" its Explorer browser to the Windows platform, now installed in nine of every 10 personal computers. 

Microsoft insists that its development of Windows reflects legitimate business innovation designed to meet customer needs - WASHINGTON (AFP) 


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