How was Netscape destroyed by Microsoft


MUNICH (COMPUTERWOCHE) - The prosecutors opened the monopoly proceedings against Microsoft on Tuesday with a long list of charges. Surprisingly, the company's boss, Bill Gates, who was taken out of the line of fire, came back to the center of criticism. Background: Microsoft is accused of having violated antitrust laws by abusing its operating system monopoly. The company is said to have illegally hired other companies to fight against browser competitor Netscape. Possible consequences: In the event that Microsoft is found guilty, the American antitrust authorities are demanding far-reaching and severe sanctions. Prosecutor Stephen Houk, who represents the interests of the twenty also suing states, called on the court to seek a "comprehensive solution". How this should look, however, remains so far

in the dark. In fact, nobody in the industry is expecting the software company to be broken up. What Microsoft's opponents say: According to the plaintiffs, Microsoft originally tried to divide the market between itself and Netscape. When that failed, the Gates Company decided to destroy the competitor. For this purpose Microsoft started to give away its own browser "Internet Explorer" and at the same time forced business partners to boycott Netscape products. Hewlett-Packard complained to Microsoft: "Your company would definitely not be our browser supplier if your activities in this area had given us another choice." America Online reportedly made Gates the following offer: "How much do we have to pay to have you drop Netscape? Today is your lucky day." According to the indictment, there are also companies that have been pressured by Microsoft

Intel, Intuit, Apple and Sun. Gates under fire: Actually, Bill Gates should stay in the background in the process. However, the prosecutors prevented that. Citing a series of emails and internal company memos, he is alleged to have misrepresented under oath his company's aggressive methods of gaining control of the Internet market. Specifically, it is about a meeting with Netscape in June 1995. The evidence would prove that Gates, contrary to his testimony, tried to persuade the competitor to voluntarily renounce business in the Windows environment. In return, he offered Netscape a free hand in the business with corporate servers. According to a paper quoted in court, he was even willing to give Netscape money "to buy parts of the company or something else". When Netscape nonetheless showed itself to be uncooperative, according to the indictment, a campaign began

started, which "was directed against Netscape and its sales at the risk of temporary losses". Because of this personal involvement of Gates in the company's activities, the plaintiffs are no longer satisfied with the video witness testimony that the court has previously received. You want to summon the Microsoft boss personally and cross-examine.