|[5:00 PM] DOJ Makes It Official & Calls For Microsoft Breakup
by Michael Munger
It is official, the US government prosecutors asked for the breakup of Microsoft in two entities! The New York Times is reporting that the DOJ and 19 states have officially asked for the breakup of the world's biggest software company. For those who have not been following the trial and the fight between the DOJ and Microsoft, the latter was accused of abusive use of its monopoly power with the Windows operating system.
The two new companies would split the present operations of MS into this:
- Company #1: Operating system development (mainly Windows)
- Company #2: Everything else, from Office to MSNBC to all remaining Microsoft products on the market such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.
Details of US Proposal to Breakup Microsoft according to the New York TImes:
- Microsoft would have to separate its Windows operating system from applications.
- Microsoft would have to submit a breakup plan four months after Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules.
- Temporary uniform standards would have to be adopted for licensing the Windows operating system to personal computer makers.
- Personal computer makers would be allowed to make modifications to the appearance of the Windows operating system.
- The board of directors for the two companies would be kept separate, The two companies established would be barred from merging or forming any joint ventures with each other.
- No retaliatory action could be taken by the two companies against those who gave evidence to the federal government against Microsoft.
- Temporary restrictions would be imposed on Microsoft until the appeals process was completed.
- A temporary ban would be placed on Microsoft to prevent any threats or acts against personal computer makers.
- An internal antitrust committee would be formed within Microsoft to ensure compliance with the breakup.
- The terms of the breakup plan would last 10 years.
The proposed plan would prohibit Microsoft from bundling the Windows operating system with other products and require the company to disclose source code information to competing software developers.
The New York Times article contains other information, and we recommend that you read it.
The Mac Observer Spin: Please remember that this is nothing more than a proposal, and that nothing has actually been decided by the courts. The 19 states that have joined with the DOJ in their antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft did not reach a consensus either.