For Immediate Release:
Thursday, April 11, 2002
Director, Communications & IS
A new study by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University estimates that a proposed remedy endorsed by Attorney General Thomas Reilly as part of a nine-state antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft would cost Massachusetts consumers and software developers billions of dollars.
By insisting on a remedy calling upon Microsoft
to offer a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system, the nine state
attorneys general will be forcing software developers in Massachusetts to incur
approximately $3 billion dollars in costs over the next three years. As a result,
over the same period, Bay State consumers will be forced to pay at least $625
million in higher prices.
The new study, And Then There Were Nine:
The States v. Microsoft, details the market consequences of ongoing litigation
against the software giant. The study questions the merits of a nine-state anti-trust
action against Microsoft, a measure that goes far beyond a settlement entered
by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the software company last
Under the DOJ settlement original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) can offer consumers the choices of competing middleware
programs such as instant messengers, audio players and browsers. In addition,
Microsoft would continue to sell Windows as a uniform product with an underlying
code upon which consumers and developers depend.
The plaintiffs in the nine-state case argue
that Microsoft should be forced to remove middleware code and offer
different flavors of Windows with the hope that a competing operation system
will evolve. However, a stripped-down version of Windows would force third-party
software developers to write several different versions of their applications
driving up developing, debugging and marketing costs. A portion of these
costs will be passed on to software consumers.
As a public servant, Attorney General
Tom Reillys first priority should be to advance the interests of the Commonwealths
citizens, says David G. Tuerck, Executive Director of the Beacon Hill
Institute. But his pursuit of harsher penalties against Microsoft in the
ongoing anti-trust suit he has joined with eight other states is not only counterproductive
but harmful to both consumers and the states software industry.
A complete copy of the study can be obtained here.
Format revised on 02-Jul-2003 2:48 PM