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Re: Japan Microsoft Investigation
Important acts of justice are usually disruptive to society, as is all
decisive and aggressive action of consequence.
The only questions should be: are these actions against tying just? I
would say yes.
As for whether they are too late, remember that this is not about just
Microsoft, this a turning point for our industry. If it is late, then it
is 20+ years late. The worry should not be that government agencies
around the world are acting late, the worry should be that they are
acting like a skater on the ice for the first time. We need firmer, more
decisive, less amateuristic in their indecision and weakness, government
agencies. Especially in the US, where it has been such a problem lately
in this area that it has even made judges try to throw out settlements
because they were so obviously without consequence for the wrongdoers.
We need for Microsoft to become seen as the example not to imitate, not
for it to be seen as a model of how to skate as far over the edge of the
law as possible without paying any price that is higher than can be
afforded as a reasonable business risk worth taking.
At any rate, such are my personal opinions. Thanks for keeping us
informed about developments in Japan.
HIDAKA, Kazuaki wrote:
> Taketaro Yabe, Secretary-general of the Fair Trade Commission (JFTC),
> a Japanese antitrust watchdog, said Wednesday at a press conference
> that JFTC will be looking into Microsoft(MS)'s business practices
> in Japan. A tying arrangement by the company would be illegal here,
> too. Therefore, I guess JFTC will, under the U.S.-Japan bilateral
> antitrust cooperation treaty, aggressively communicate and share
> related information with the Antitrust Division of the Justice
> Department. I will follow up the development, if any.
> President of a Japanese major PC manufacturer said Wednesday that
> his company has "voluntarily" preinstalled Microsoft's Internet
> Explorer on the personal computers (PCs) it sold. Japanese PC makers
> as a whole, with PC sales market depressed, may be concerned that
> the Department's motion in Federal District Court this week has a
> some negative impact on MS's schedule to introduce its new Windows
> 98 operating system.
> BTW, (1) do you think the Department's action was too late, with
> Windows 98 introduction close at hand? (2) Does it appear to be a
> desperate, last remedy? (3) Why do you think it intentionally
> avoided mentioning Windows 98? (4) Why do you think MS refered to
> its IE 4.0, and not IE 3.0, in its Monday statement? (5) Could you
> tell me the website where DOJ reportedly made publicly available
> Thirsday depositions by people of five PC makers, including Compaq,
> Gateway 2000 and Micron Technology, and a June 1996 letter of MS to
> Compaq? I think these questions are ones which many Japanese
> intersted people, including me, certainly have.
> Sincerely yours,
> Kazuaki Hidaka
> e-mail: Chaos@InfoNet-Dev.Co.Jp
> home page: htt