Article 66 of 200
Microsoft settlement foreseen - but not with Clinton in the White HouseSource: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The News & Observer Raleigh, NC
Page A8
(Copyright 2000)


SEATTLE -- Some antitrust experts predict the Justice Department won't settle its landmark case against Microsoft Corp. until President Clinton leaves office.

The predictions were made by Microsoft legal consultant C. Boyden Gray, who served as an aide to Presidents Reagan and Bush, and Nicholas Economides , dean of New York University's Stern School of Business, at an NYU legal conference on the case late last week.

"I think the likelihood is that it will be settled," Gray said - but after November. The Justice Department would be similar under Vice President Al Gore, "but there would be a change. Any administration is going to put new people in."

Economides predicted an appeals court would overturn the trial court's finding that Microsoft illegally tied its Internet Explorer Web browser to its Windows operating system.

The weakened case would be settled under Gore or Texas Gov. George W. Bush, he said, but not Clinton.

Microsoft's legal fees would reach $6 billion by that time, Economides said, and the lengthy legal battle would leave the company unable to make acquisitions it might otherwise pursue over the next two years.

If Bush is elected, his antitrust enforcers would likely bring a less impassioned approach, Economides said. "But I wouldn't be surprised if Gore cut a deal as well," he said. "His incentive would be: 'It's an old case, we inherited it - let's come up with a solution everyone can be happy with.' "


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