McNealy Delivers Microsoft Recommendations - InformationWeek

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McNealy Delivers Microsoft Recommendations

Sun Microsystems chairman Scott McNealy said Wednesday thatJudge Thomas Penfield Jackson should slap four restrictions on Microsoft--and that the Justice Department should break up the company if it doesn't abide by them.

McNealy, historically a harsh critic of Microsoft, said in a press conference at Comdex/Fall in Las Vegas that Microsoft should be forced to open its application programming interfaces in a provision similar to the historic Consent Decree in the antitrust ruling against IBM. "That allowed us to have the most competitive computer industry in the world," he said. "And it's one reason why countries [with one dominant vendor] like Italy, France, and South Korea don't."

He also urged that Microsoft be forced to practice nondiscriminatory pricing and be forbidden from "exclusionary agreements" that threaten customers who use competitors' products. Finally, McNealy said Microsoft should be prohibited from using its operating systems revenue to fund investments and acquisitions in other markets such as broadcast, telecom, media content, and wireless. "Let's not confuse R & D with M & A," he said.

Despite his suggestions, McNealy predicted Microsoft will be broken up. "I'd bet that Microsoft will not agree to these kinds of restrictions. And if they don't, get the chain saw out."

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