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lynx-dev M$ in the news
lynx-dev M$ in the news
Tue, 8 Sep 1998 12:56:20 -0400 (EDT)
I saw the following on another mailing list.
Thought it was of interest.
> Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 21:13:47 -0400
> From: Dan Dunfee <address@hidden>
> Subject: More news about microsoft's illicit activites.
> To: address@hidden
> microsoft, the great access friend of the blind, gets it's hands dirty
> with obstruction of justice. read forwarded message below and ponder:
> > http://www.redherring.com/insider/1998/0902/witness.html
> > EXCLUSIVE: MICROSOFT WITNESS ADMITS TO DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE
> > By Wendy Goldman Rohm
> > Red Herring Online
> > September 2, 1998
> > A key witness in the antitrust suit filed by Caldera against Microsoft
> > (MSFT) has admitted under oath that documents were deleted from
> > computers
> > in a Microsoft office during the federal investigation of the software
> > giant, sources close to the deposition said.
> > The documents in question illustrated Microsoft's predatory sales
> > activities in its attempts to restrict the success of Digital Research's
> > DR
> > DOS, a rival of MS-DOS, sources said.
> > During their probes of Microsoft, Federal Trade Commission and Justice
> > Department attorneys had long suspected that evidence might have been
> > withheld or deleted -- a charge which Microsoft has consistently denied.
> > This marks the first time that testimony exists under oath that
> > information
> > was destroyed while the company was under investigation. The Justice
> > Department has now begun its own investigation into this matter, and has
> > just begun talks with this witness, sources confirm.
> > A further investigation would now be needed to determine whether these
> > activities resulted in obstruction of justice in both the Caldera case
> > and
> > the Justice Department's antitrust investigation, said antitrust
> > experts.
> > Microsoft über alles
> > The former Microsoft employee, deposed under oath last week, asserted
> > that
> > between 1991 and 1993, documents were deleted from computers under
> > instructions by the head of Microsoft's OEM accounts at the company's
> > German headquarters in Munich.
> > Some of these documents mentioned alleged efforts by Microsoft to
> > squeeze
> > competitor DR DOS out of the operating system market in Germany.
> > Whether Microsoft used anticompetitive methods to beat DR DOS, an
> > alternative to Microsoft's operating system, is at the heart of the
> > antitrust suit filed against the software giant by Caldera, a small
> > operating system vendor that now owns DR DOS.
> > "I can confirm we took the deposition of a former Microsoft employee
> > last
> > week," said Steve Hill, an attorney representing Caldera in its
> > antitrust
> > suit against Microsoft. "We consider [this person] to be a key witness
> > in
> > our case. We can't comment on anything that went on in a deposition."
> > Kick 'em out
> > Eliminating Digital Research was important to Microsoft's European
> > business.
> > During the early 1990s, Vobis, Germany's largest computer manufacturer,
> > shipped all of its computers with DR DOS. At one point, Microsoft vice
> > president Brad Chase sent an email to VP Jeff Lum expressing Steve
> > Ballmer's concerns about Vobis. Mr. Ballmer, then a senior vice
> > president,
> > is now president of Microsoft.
> > "Steve told me to eat, sleep, and drink Vobis, so I will be on everyone
> > to
> > let me know what's going on with this account," he wrote.
> > Like IBM in the United States, Vobis had enormous influence in Europe.
> > Other Microsoft memos suggested that winning Vobis over to MS-DOS would
> > "lead other OEMs" to support Microsoft's product. In January 1991, VP
> > Jeff
> > Lum was urging Joachim Kempin, Microsoft's vice president of OEM sales,
> > to
> > "kick DRI [Digital Research, then the maker of DR DOS] out" of Vobis.
> > Among memos the Justice Department has in its possession is one Mr.
> > Kempin
> > had written as early as October 1990, when Microsoft was plotting to use
> > per-processor licenses to lock out Microsoft competitors. (In 1995,
> > Microsoft signed a consent decree with the Justice Department agreeing
> > not
> > to use such contracts, which charged PC vendors seeking to license
> > MS-DOS
> > and Windows a fee for every computer sold, whether or not a Microsoft
> > operating system was installed on a computer.) The memo reads, in part,
> > "This will block out DR [Digital Research] once signed."
> > The material now being collected in the two court cases against
> > Microsoft
> > -- Caldera's antitrust suit, and Sun's contractual dispute over
> > Microsoft's
> > license to the Java programming language -- is fueling Justice
> > Department's
> > concerns that Microsoft is withholding evidence in the government's case
> > against the software company.
> > Microsoft offered no comment in response to these new charges. "We can't
> > comment on anything that may have occurred in a deposition," said
> > Microsoft
> > spokesperson Mark Murray. Mr. Murray noted that Microsoft has given
> > Caldera
> > "access to the entire library" of documents produced to the Justice
> > Department.
> > Statutes of limitation do not apply to obstruction of justice cases,
> > sources said, and the Justice Department's next step, if the witness's
> > statements are found to be substantial, could be to consider the
> > appointment of a grand jury to further probe the charges.
> > The memos quoted above were among those discovered by the author in the
> > course of researching her book, The Microsoft File: The Secret Case
> > Against
> > Bill Gates, published by Random House in September 1998. Ms. Rohm's
> > articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune,
> > Financial
> > Times, Wired, Information Week, and PC Week, among others. Write to her
> > at
> > address@hidden
> > © Herring Communications
> > ---
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> > Blinux software archive at ftp://leb.net/pub/blinux
> > Blinux web page at http://leb.net/blinux
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