Attorney General Cuomo Announces Microsoft To Remain Under New York;s Supervision
New York, NY (January 30, 2008) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a federal judge has granted New York State’s request to continue overseeing Microsoft’s conduct to ensure fair competition. The Court ordered the oversight extension until November 12, 2009 despite the opposition of Microsoft Corp. and the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, both of whom opposed further oversight.
The antitrust consent decree went into effect in November 2001, and significant terms of the five-year decree were set to expire in November 2007. New York and California led the request to extend court oversight, which arises from the 2001 findings that Microsoft committed antitrust violations.
“We are very pleased that the Court recognized how important it is to keep the antitrust decree against Microsoft in place to protect consumers and promote fair competition,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “The oversight extension will help ensure that Microsoft fully complies with the requirements of the consent decree and helps stimulate competition in the personal computers marketplace.”
The decision was rendered by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. In granting the request by New York, California and nine other states for continued oversight, the Court emphasized that Microsoft’s inability to meet its obligations and provide industry players with technology that Microsoft promised in 2001 prevented the Court’s decree from accomplishing its intended result – stimulating competition in the market for personal computer operating systems.
Since the settlement agreement in November 2001, the New York Attorney General’s Office has led the group of settling states in monitoring Microsoft’s compliance with its obligations under the Court’s decree.
Cuomo’s Office has been instrumental in managing the activities of the Technical Committee charged with ensuring that Microsoft lives up to its court-imposed obligations. The Court’s ruling commends the activities of the Technical Committee, which currently has a staff of some 40 engineers and support personnel, as “one of the most successful aspects of the Final Judgments.” The Committee, the Court noted, “has gone far beyond the simple ‘monitoring’” envisioned in the Court’s Order “to providing testing, feedback, and critiques that have proved critical to . . . maximiz[ing] the full potential of the Final Judgments’ remedies.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Technical Committee and with our fellow State enforcers to help bring about the benefits of competition to all computer users,” said Cuomo.
The Microsoft case is being handled by Jay L. Himes, chief of the Attorney General’s Antitrust Bureau. Mr. Himes was the States’ principal representative in the 2001 negotiations that led to the settlement with Microsoft.