28 January 2002 Two Nobel Prize-winning economists have announced their opposition to the settlement reached by the US federal government with Microsoft over the software giant’s anti-trust violations.
The two economists – Joseph Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow – have submitted briefs to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the judge in charge of the Microsoft anti-trust lawsuit. They have argued that she should reject the compromise agreement because it is too weak and will not curb the company’s dominant position in PC operating systems.
Today is the deadline for public submissions about the case. A deluge of statements are expected before the close of business today.
Arrow wrote that the agreement between Microsoft and the US federal authorities “is missing forward-looking remedies that address such efforts by Microsoft to protect and enhance its existing market power by using its illegally maintained monopoly.”
The two Nobel Laureates are backed by ProComp, an industry lobbying group supported by two of Microsoft’s fiercest competitors, AOL Time Warner and Sun Microsystems. AOL recently started separate legal proceedings for losses suffered by Netscape as a result of anti-competitive behaviour perpetrated by Microsoft in the Internet browser market.
The American Antitrust Institute, which identifies itself as an independent research institute, but is backed by US software group Oracle, has also campaigned against the agreement.