Volume 95, Issue 18

Tuesday, October 2, 2001
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Engineers, UWO in boozefest battle

Students politicos clamour for BOG seats

Jackpot! $200 mil. raised

Brown: "Waterloo still sucks"

Expert: Microsoft's guilt unclear

University means money

Hate crimes and drunks keep coppers busy

News Briefs

Expert: Microsoft's guilt unclear

By Lori MacIntyre
Gazette Staff

An expert on the United States Justice Department's case against Microsoft said the software giant was involved in dirty dealings when he spoke in the Social Sciences Centre last Friday.

Stanley J. Liebowitz, a former member of Western's department of economics and a current professor at the University of Texas, discussed the details of the anti-trust case that began over three years ago.

"Did Microsoft act like a monopolist?" was the topic of Liebowitz's discussion and, he explained, the judge who tried the original court case had to determine if Microsoft was merely competitive with other companies or if it had illegally dominated the computer industry.

Liebowitz noted the U.S. government did not order a break-up of Microsoft, but ordered the issue to be dealt with outside of court.

"A strong case is less important than a biased judge," Liebowitz said, adding the first judge lacked insight into the software industry to make a decision. Accordingly, a second judge took over.

Liebowitz said e-mails proved Microsoft executives were involved in shady business deals. Defendants' statements contradicted statements in certain e-mails, he added.

Despite pointing out several of Microsoft's errors during the trial, Liebowitz did not condemn Microsoft as guilty of dominating the computer market.

"Microsoft may and may not have participated in anti-trust issues," he said.

John Palmer, an associate economics professor at Western, said Liebowitz's presentation was impressive.

"In particular, the demonstration that anytime Microsoft went into a market, prices fell, [something that] was very persuasive. He showed how consumers were better off," Palmer said. "I think [Liebowitz] felt it was the right choice now not to break them up."

"[Liebowitz] presented it very fairly, showing both sides of the case. It was very informative," said Chris Reekie, a third-year administrative and commercial studies student.

–with files from Uroos Rizvi

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