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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
  Microsoft Corp.
  	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
  voice 202.387.8030 | fax 202.234.5176 | love@cptech.org