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WSJ on State Antitrust prob of Microsoft
October 7, 1997
More States Join Probe
Of Microsoft's Practices
By JEFFREY KRASNER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Attorneys general from three more states -- California, New York and
Connecticut -- have joined the antitrust probe into practices at
The three states join Massachusetts and Texas, which began their
investigation last winter. The state attorneys general hope to file any
action against the company before the expected release of a new version
of Windows, due in next year's second quarter.
As part of the inquiry, investigators from the office of Massachusetts
Attorney General Scott Harshbarger met last month with officials of
International Business Machines Corp., according to people familiar with
the investigation. Those people said the focus is on Microsoft's plans
to integrate its Internet Explorer program with a coming version of its
Windows operating system.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal confirmed that his
state is the latest to join the probe. "What we're looking at is the
alleged monopoly ... concerning Microsoft software," Mr. Blumenthal
said. He said his investigators are looking into whether Microsoft is
trying to prevent personal-computer makers from shipping new machines
loaded with Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system and an
Internet browser from any competitor.
Investigators are also trying to determine if Microsoft, in its
contracts with suppliers and partners, requires them to alert Microsoft
if they receive information requests from state or federal authorities.
"We've received reports about such a provision, and we'd be concerned
about it, if in fact it's true," Mr. Blumenthal said.
Other firms contacted by Mr. Harshbarger's Consumer Protection and
Antitrust Bureau in Massachusetts include Dell Computer Corp. of Round
Rock, Texas; Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston; Gateway 2000 Inc. of
North Sioux City, S.D.; and Sabre Group of Dallas, a travel-reservation
service owned by AMR Corp.'s American Airlines.
James Love | Center for Study of Responsive Law
P.O. Box 19367 | Washington, DC 20036 | http://www.cptech.org
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