Lawyers for the government and Microsoft Corp. yesterday restated their arguments in a final, voluminous stack of legal briefs that they submitted to the federal judge hearing the antitrust case against the company.
As expected, each side's documents--intended to summarize the key facts they believe they proved during the six-month trial--took sharply divergent views of the eight-month trial, at which final evidence was presented in June. Closing arguments begin later this month.
The government argued that Microsoft has engaged in a series of anti-competitive practices to monopolize the market for personal computer operating systems with its Windows software, and that it improperly used its market clout to try to dominate other parts of the software industry.
"Microsoft used sufficient measures to thwart potential threats to its operating system monopoly," the government wrote. "Unwilling to compete on the merits, Microsoft routinely trampled on consumer interests in the process."
Microsoft maintained that the evidence introduced by the government is not sufficient to prove an antitrust violation. It also contended it does not have a monopoly with Windows, and, as such, cannot have broken antitrust laws.
Microsoft urged the judge to take "judicial notice" of numerous recent developments that the company contends pose a threat to the dominance of Windows, including the financial success of Red Hat Inc., which makes a rival operating system called Linux. Red Hat's shares, offered to the public at $14 last month, closed at $119.75 yesterday.
Government lawyers, Microsoft wrote, "fail to proffer evidence supporting essential elements of their claims and attempt to brand as 'anti-competitive' normal competitive behavior that has plainly benefited consumers."
Both sides filed similar summaries last month. Yesterday's filings were meant to respond to points made in opponents' documents.