What Me, Monopolize? — In a move that may ruffle the feathers of the FTC, Melinda French, the wife of Microsoft’s billionaire owner Bill Gates, announced today that she intends to buy Compaq Computer for an undisclosed amount of cash and Microsoft stock. French said, “This is a personal investment, and should not in any way be viewed as an official Microsoft acquisition, and there will be no connection between Microsoft and Compaq” adding that she’s wanted to own a PC hardware company “ever since I was a kid.” Previously working in the same division that produced Microsoft Bob, Microsoft’s so-called social interface, French said she just had “to get away from that damn rodent,” and, “I’ve always used Compaq machines at work, and they seem to be pretty good.” Nonetheless, analysts pointed at the immediate move by Compaq to install a Bob-friendly minimum of 32 MB of RAM in every computer sold.
Justice Department chief Anne Bingaman, reached for comment at her home, said, “Frankly, I don’t see the problem. If Melinda wants to buy Compaq, that’s her business, and the Justice Department isn’t going to harass her about any monopoly proceedings.” Judge Sporkin refused to comment, but made irate gurgling noises. Rumor has it that the rest of the PC industry is considering merging in an effort to compete with what many view as a combined Microsoft/Compaq juggernaut. [ACE]