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Dole on Microsoft

  Will wonders never cease? From the 11.24.97 op-ed section of the Los 
  Angeles Times. The full editorial can be found at: 
  (but probably today only) Excerpt:
  Microsoft Must Obey the Law, by Bob Dole
  But as I review what is at stake today--nearly total domination of one of 
  the primary means of commerce for the coming century--I can only come to 
  the conclusion that no one company should be allowed to dominate the 
  Internet. Microsoft should not be hindered unnecessarily in legitimate 
  competition by government overregulation, but it cannot be allowed to use 
  its current dominance in personal computer operating system software to 
  preclude competition. The speed with which Internet and electronic 
  commerce markets develop creates an increased responsibility for 
  antitrust enforcement officials to move rapidly to prevent 
  anti-competitive practices. While I have always opposed unwarranted 
  government intervention in the marketplace, I think the Justice 
  Department is doing the right thing by taking swift action to force 
  Microsoft to comply with the law.
  Microsoft's goal appears to be to extend the monopoly it has enjoyed in 
  the PC operating system marketplace to the Internet as a whole and to 
  control the direction of innovation. This goal was most clearly laid out 
  in an internal Microsoft memo detailed in the Wall Street Journal earlier 
  this year: "Nathan Myrhvold, Microsoft's chief technology officer, 
  confirms that Microsoft hopes to get a 'vig,' or vigorish, on every 
  transaction over the Internet that uses Microsoft's technology, though he 
  says in some cases Microsoft's share could come from a one-time software 
  licensing fee. (Vigorish is a slang term used by bookmakers that means, 
  roughly, the profit made for bringing two bettors together.)"
  You don't need to be Bill Gates (whom, incidentally, I've met and like) 
  to see the profits that can be made by gaining monopoly control of the 
  next major means of commerce. It is fairly easy, for example, to envision 
  the entire securities industry moving to the Internet--initiating 
  millions of online transactions worth billions of dollars each year. If 
  almost everyone must pass through a Microsoft toll booth to use the 
  Internet, it is not unreasonable to believe that Microsoft will impose 
  its "vig" on most activity on the Internet.
  No one--not Microsoft, another company or the government--should be 
  allowed to deprive Americans of real choices in how they spend their 
  money. This is particularly true of the Internet, which is rapidly 
  becoming one of the world's most significant sources of information and 
  has the potential to become a major means by which commerce is conducted.
  This case, despite the company's protests, is not about one man, Gates, 
  or one company, Microsoft. It is about a fundamental principle of our 
  economic  system: open and free competition. When a dominant company 
  artificially dictates how, where and even if consumers have choice in the 
  online marketplace, it is time for the government to step in and enforce 
  the antitrust laws. 
                          - - -
  Bob Dole Was Senate Majority Leader and the Republican Party's 1996 
  Presidential Nominee. His Law Firm Represents a Number of Computer 
  Software Companies
     Mitch Stone
     The idea that people know what they want is wrong.
            -- Laura Jennings, Vice President, Microsoft Network
     Boycott Microsoft ** http://www.vcnet.com/bms