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Judge Finds Microsoft a Monopoly

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson today released his "finding of fact" in the ongoing antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation, ruling that Microsoft holds a monopoly in Intel-compatible PC operating systems. He wrote in part, "Viewed together, three main facts indicate that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. First, Microsoft’s share of the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems is extremely large and stable. Second, Microsoft’s dominant market share is protected by a high barrier to entry. Third, and largely as a result of that barrier, Microsoft’s customers lack a commercially viable alternative to Windows." For its part, Microsoft posted a statement on its Web site saying "Microsoft remains confident that the U.S. legal system ultimately will determine that the company’s actions were both lawful and beneficial to consumers." The finding of fact is not a final ruling, but would seem to indicate that Judge Jackson favors the arguments put forth by the Justice Department’s prosecutors in the landmark antitrust case. A final ruling in the case is not expected until sometime next year, and appeals and settlement negotiations could cause the suit to drag out for some time yet.

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