Sandy Grady, column, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 10
Sure, I've heard angry laments that Jackson is tampering with "The American Way" -- the right of an entrepreneur to build a better product, grow big and fuel our 1990s technological boom. That's Gates' line. But the American way is also about competition -- one monster-size company with deep pockets can't use unfair tactics to limit choice, prices, quality and innovation. Microsoft dominates 90 percent of the world's technology. If that's not a monopoly, what is?
Stan Liebowitz, professor of managerial economics at the University of Texas at Dallas, in the Financial Post, Nov. 9
Microsoft's low prices and generally superior products have not been good for its competitors. Some of these firms found a pliant Department of Justice, willing to do their bidding so as to handicap what is probably the most competitive firm in the industry. Unfortunately, they seem to have found a judge who will do the same.
Editorial, Seattle Times, Nov. 9
If the company cares as much about innovation as it claims -- and not just innovation on Microsoft's terms -- the best path for consumers and software engineers is settlement of the lawsuit by the Justice Department and 19 states. . . . As the case moves to the next phase, both sides should focus on their long-term interests. Government should not want an outcome that places a heavy burden on industry. Microsoft does not want restrictions on its development of new products.
. . . Software competition should shift back to where it belongs, on the merits of the products. Microsoft should have no fear of that contest.
Editorial, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 9
Enhancing consumer choice and fostering technological innovation must be the twin beacons that guide the government as this case proceeds. Recognizing that all remedies are imperfect, one that errs on the side of the free market and minimum intrusion by the government and regulators is vastly preferable.
Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 9
For now, consumers won't feel a practical effect. Microsoft stock is trading, its products are being bought and computer users are opening, saving and moving documents in Windows like ever before. But Judge Jackson has changed the landscape by debunking the myth that the issue was intellectual property, not hardball tactics.
George L. Priest, professor, Yale Law School, in the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8:
Who are the victims? To Judge Jackson, they are those consumers who don't want to be connected to the network: those who don't want Internet browsers on their operating systems.
. . . I don't doubt that there are such consumers. But to compare their loss to the benefits all of us gain from network connection, or to the loss that all who are now connected might suffer if the expansion of the network is impaired, suggests the feeble nature of Judge Jackson's case.
Editorial, London Guardian, Nov. 9
The United States is a nation where, when put to the test, the rights of the individual or the smaller entrepreneurial enterprise will always be held higher than brute corporate strength.
Thus a century which began with the antitrust authorities moving against John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil of New Jersey, which controlled more than 90 percent of the world's oil production, ends with the state scoring a victory over Microsoft, the outstanding and most successful corporation of the late 20th century. The names and industries are different but the values which led federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to find Mr. Gates and Microsoft guilty of being a relentless and predatory monopoly are immutable.
Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7
Many of the modern giants of the information, computer and Internet industries started up in garages, home kitchens, and university classrooms, and it would be a disgrace if the big companies they have now become were allowed to use their power to crush the same inventiveness and imagination in others. While they still have much to contribute to the economy and to the future, companies like Microsoft . . . must not be tempted, nor allowed, to crush some budding Bill Gates or Steve Jobs who will mold the next century's hi-tech industries.
Editorial, New York Post, Nov. 8
The most dynamic industry of the last quarter-century has just fallen under judicial and regulatory control -- and whatever short-term benefits they think they will derive from the decision, the long-term result will be their submission to Washington as well. For if they believe that regulators and Justice Department bureaucrats and trial lawyers will be satisfied nibbling away at Microsoft and Microsoft alone, they are horribly mistaken.
Editorial, Detroit News, Nov. 9
This case is far from over; there are years of potential appeals ahead. Mr. Gates says he is open to settlement negotiations, but remains committed to his right to design and market products as he sees fit. Notwithstanding all the government's power and might, that is an American principle still worth fighting for.
"Microsoft, whose legal position is untenable, is attempting to recover its losses politically through a massive lobbying and public relations campaign. . . . Nothing comparable in intensity, expense and mendacity has ever been seen with respect to antitrust litigation. Combining paranoia and self-righteous belief in its own virtue, Microsoft is using tactics that would have made the Robber Barons blush."
Robert Bork, former Appeals Court judge and
antitrust scholar who has represented
Netscape Communications Corp., in the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8