Trustbusting for Dummies

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: Talk about brazen: "The government got what it wanted, knowing full well what the consequences would be" thus spake Richard J. Urowsky, attorney for software giant Microsoft, as the browser battle picked up where it left off in December. Clearly, the firm's lawyers have lost none of their chutzpah in the intervening month at one point Urowsky claimed that Microsoft, that poor lost soul, was caught between contrary unbundling orders from the DOJ and the court. Even the judge, Thomas Penfield Jackson, had to raise his eyebrows at that. "Microsoft came across as very abrasive," says Netly News correspondent Declan McCullagh, "but they were also better polished and prepared than the DOJ."

The government, whose exasperation was almost tangible, were limited to dragging out a very basic video presentation to explain very slowly how easy it was to exorcise Explorer. They insisted Microsoft was in contempt, and seem set to ask Jackson to implement the long-threatened $1 million-a-day fine. But Bill Gates has lost none of his Teflon coating despite the court wrangling, set to continue Wednesday, and another antitrust investigation in Japan, Microsoft stock still managed to end the day up another three points.