The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today asked a federal court to not simply dismiss its case against Microsoft Corporation, citing new evidence that shows the company deals with competitors in an anti-competitive way. The DOJ also decried CEO Bill Gates and his "astonishing lack of recall" during depositions last week. Gates was grilled about his dealings with other companies, including Netscape Communications, which the DOJ charges Microsoft attempted to put out of business.
The DOJ calls Microsoft's dealing with competitors a "pattern of predatory conduct," where the company will use its monopoly power with Windows to force new products into the industry at the expense of established products from competitors.
The request, which arrived in the form of an 89-page brief, is an answer to Microsoft's request for immediate dismissal.
"Given the strength and breadth of the plaintiffs' proof, Microsoft's claim that there are no genuine issues of fact is frivolous," the brief reads. "The cumulative effect of Microsoft's anti-competitive and illegal conduct has been, and continues to be, to increase Microsoft's share of Internet browser usage; to reduce the revenues and increase the costs of rival browser manufacturers; to deter innovation by other browser manufacturers and, more generally, by others in the industry that would otherwise seek to develop new software products in competition with Microsoft; and to further entrench Microsoft's operating system monopoly."
The brief accuses Microsoft of trying to prevent Sun Microsystems from finding a foothold with its Java programming language, and of "snowballing" federal and state prosecutors during their investigations of the company. According to the DOJ, Microsoft has consistently distorted the facts of the case, both publicly and in court documents.
"Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who is placed at the center of key events by numerous documents, displayed a particular failure of recollection at his deposition," brief reads. "Mr. Gates' testimony appears to be part of a pattern of Microsoft attempting to rewrite history."
The case heads to court September 23rd