U.S. vs. Microsoft
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Some of the hyperlinked documents listed on this page are located on the Web sites of the Department of Justice and Microsoft Corp. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read some of these documents. For full case filings, visit the Web sites for the Department of Justice and Microsoft.

Trial Documents

  • Witness testimony and evidence introduced during the Microsoft antitrust trial.

  • Pretrial:
    From the Justice Department  | From MicrosoftFrom the Bench  


  • Consent Decree (7/15/94)
    Agreement between the Justice Department and Microsoft that establishes that Microsoft will not require computer manufacturers to license other software as a condition of licensing Windows. However, this statement is immediately followed by the stipulation that the agreement does not prevent Microsoft from developing integrated products.
    Microsoft shall not enter into any License Agreement in which the terms of that agreement are expressly or impliedly conditioned upon the licensing of any other Covered Product, Operating System Software product or other product (provided, however, that this provision in and of itself shall not be construed to prohibit Microsoft from developing integrated products).

  • The Intuit Case (4/27/95)
    The United States files suit against Microsoft to prevent its acquisition of Intuit, saying that Microsoft is Intuit's most significant competitor in the personal finance software market.
  • Contempt of Consent Decree – the Justice Department files (10/20/97)
    The Justice Department accuses Microsoft of violating the agreement reached in the Consent Decree by planning to require Windows 95 licensees to also license Internet Explorer 4.0, which the government declares a separate product.
  • Internet Explorer possesses a significant commercial existence of its own, wholly apart from Microsoft's operating system. It is a separate and distinct product from Windows 95 for the following reasons, among others: (a) there is separate OEM and end user demand for Internet browser products and for Windows 95; (b) Microsoft recognizes and addresses this separate demand by separately marketing, licensing, and distributing each version of Internet Explorer to an extent far greater and in ways materially different than it does for any true, integrated feature or component of its operating system products; and (c) it is both physically and commercially possible to separate each version of Internet Explorer from Windows 95. Accordingly, Internet Explorer is an "other product," and not an "integrated product," within the meaning of Section IV(E)(i) of the Final Judgment.
  • Contempt of Consent Decree – the Justice Department responds to Microsoft's Response (11/20/97)
    The Justice Department argues that Internet Explorer was developed as – and still is – a product separate from Windows 95, despite the software maker's claims. The document quotes e-mails in which Microsoft executives make statements supporting the Justice Department's argument.
  • The Justice Department Accuses Microsoft of Flouting Jackson's Decision (12/17/97)
    The Justice Department files a brief accusing Microsoft of disregarding the decision. Microsoft offered licensing options that complied with the decision, but the version those options were offered with was "not commercially feasible" and therefore not an option at all, according to the Justice Department.
  • The Justice Department Files in Response to Microsoft's Response (12/29/97)
    The Justice Department reiterates its accusation.
  • Antitrust Track – the Justice Department Complaint (5/18/98)
    The Justice Department, on behalf of the United States, files a broad antitrust suit against Microsoft, alleging that the software company has engaged in a pattern of illegal business practices designed to protect its monopoly in personal computer operating systems and crush its competitors.
  • Antitrust Track – the Justice Department Memorandum (5/18/98)
    Department of Justice claims that Microsoft has unlawfully tied Internet Explorer to Windows and that the company's forced licensing of Internet Explorer injures competition.
  • States file suit against Microsoft (5/18/98)
    Attorneys General from 20 states and the District of Columbia join the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit. The States file an amended lawsuit in August (see below).
  • States file an amended antitrust suit against Microsoft (8/17/98)
    States allege that Microsoft maintains a Monopoly in the operating system market and that it has the power to raise prices and exclude competition. This monopoly is perpetuated by the fact that software written for Microsoft's operating systems – which constitute the majority of available software – can only be run on those systems.

    The company sees the combination of the Internet browser and Java as a threat to its operating system monopoly because they allow people to write programs that will run on any operating system. The states claim that Microsoft used the influence of its monopoly to put its Internet browser in a dominant market position. By controlling the browser market, Microsoft hopes to eliminate the threat to its monopoly, according to the states.

  • The Justice Department and States respond to request for summary judgment (8/31/98)
    Government argues that the Federal Copyright Act does not preempt the states’ state law or federal antitrust claims.

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  • Contempt of Consent Decree – Microsoft Responds to the Justice Department (11/11/97)
    Microsoft retorts with a claim that Web-browsing functionality was a part of the first version of Windows 95, not a later addition. It points out the decree's provision for developing integrated products and states that Internet Explorer falls under that category.
  • Microsoft appeals contempt decision (12/16/97)
    Microsoft disputes the decision, noting that Judge Jackson wrote the "government has not clearly convinced the Court that Microsoft violated a 'clear and unambiguous' provision of the consent decree."
  • Microsoft responds to the Justice Department's accusation that it has flouted Jackson's decision (12/23/97)
    Microsoft denies the Justice Department's claims, saying that Internet Explorer is an integrated part of the operating system.
  • The Justice Department and Microsoft settle out of court (1/22/98)
    As part of the settlement, Microsoft agrees to provide two releases to computer manufacturers, one with Internet Explorer visible on the desktop and program menu and one with Internet Explorer hidden from view. In return, the Justice Department agrees that this arrangement satisfies the requirements of Judge Jackson's ruling.
  • Microsoft responds to antitrust suits (7/28/98)
    Response to the Federal suit
  • Response to the States' suit
  • Microsoft requests summary judgment (8/10/98)
    Microsoft asks court to dismiss the antitrust case.
  • Microsoft responds to the Justice Department/states response (9/8/98)
    Microsoft argues that the government cannot prove the company broke the law and dismisses its arguments as "a lot of irrelevant background noise."
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  • Contempt of Consent Decree – U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson (12/11/97)
    Microsoft is ordered to un-bundle Internet Explorer from Windows 95, but is not held in contempt.
  • Appeals Court Decision (12/16/97)
    Majority opinion overturns Judge Jackson's decision and establishes that Microsoft did not violate the consent decree by combining its Windows 95 software with an Internet browser.
  • Ruling on Microsoft's request for summary judgment (9/14/98)
    Judge confirms government's claim that the Copyright Act does not preempt state antitrust laws and denies Microsoft's request for summary judgment.
  • © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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