Janet Reno Statement.
Re: DOJ v. Microsoft, Case No. 98-CV-1232, 1233.
May 18, 1998.
Source: DOJ, Office of Public Affairs.


The high technology revolution of the past two decades is one of America's greatest success stories. The revolutionaries were inventors, people with bold ideas. But they possessed something else: a fair chance to develop those ideas into products that could compete in the marketplace. And for more than a century, strong antitrust laws have protected ordinary Americans by assuring real competition.

Today, we are taking another step to keep our marketplace competitive. The Justice Department has charged Microsoft with engaging in anticompetitive and exclusionary practices designed to maintain its monopoly in personal computer operating systems, and attempting to extend that monopoly to internet browser software.

The Department alleges in its complaint that Microsoft has engaged in a series of anticompetitive practices, including:

Microsoft's actions have stifled competition in the operating system and browser markets. But most importantly, it has restricted the choices available for consumers in America and around the world.

Today's action is intended to ensure that consumers and computer makers have the right to choose which software they want installed on their personal computers, and not have that software chosen for them. It is also designed to preserve competition and promote innovation in the computer software industry.

The Department also filed today a motion seeking a preliminary injunction. The injunction seeks to:

The Internet is already revolutionizing communication, commerce, and the flow of information around the world. No firm should be permitted to use its monopoly power to keep out competitors or spurn innovation.

Without antitrust laws, the innovators of today could be shut out of the marketplace. Competition will dry up, along with the incentive to innovate. Microsoft has an excellent record of innovation. But we want to make sure that the field is open to the next Microsoft, the next great innovator who can help improve our lives and our economy--if they are given the opportunity.

I am pleased to be joined today by Joel Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, Iowa State Attorney General Tom Miller, the chair of the Antitrust Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco, and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who are here representing the 20 States and the District of Columbia who have also filed suit against Microsoft. The Justice Department and the States have worked very hard to coordinate their investigations of this matter, and American consumers have been well served as a result.