Microsoft Still Stalling, Denying

Cnet: Microsoft seeks antitrust hearing delay. “If there is one thing that characterizes Microsoft’s conduct in this case even more than denial, it is delay, delay, delay,” Tom Miller, Iowa attorney general and one of the states’ leaders, said in a statement.

Based on the record, you’d have to give the nod to denial. Feelings of guilt plainly do not afflict Microsoft’s top executives, who have consistenly proclaimed how ethical they’ve been — contrary to the rulings by a trial judge and a unanimous appeals court that the company is a duplicitous, serial lawbreaker.

”We have learned a lot over the past few years of this case,” a PR man wrote me in an e-mail. ”We certainly did not knowingly compete in a way contrary to the antitrust laws — we believed at the time that our actions were legal and pro-competitive. But the Court of Appeals has found that we did violate the antitrust laws in certain ways, and we acknowledge the Court’s ruling.”

I got similar language from Brad Smith, the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, in a phone call earlier this week. The appeals court ”found that in some areas the company’s conduct was unlawful,” he said. ”We certainly acknowledge that.”

Parsed carefully, this extremely precise language admits only the undeniable fact that the court ruled the way it did. In other words, Microsoft agrees that the Earth revolves around the sun.

Getting a straightforward admission of wrongdoing from this lawbreaker is about as likely as discovering that the sun orbits the Earth. Keep fighting, states.


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