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July 30, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:11pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp shook off another legal shackle yesterday as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rejected a request from a group of senators for it to investigate the company over anti-trust allegation because the Justice Department (DOJ) was being too soft on the company. This announcement means that the investigation initiated by Netscape Communications Corp and conducted by the DOJ will continue, but will not be mirrored by another at the FTC. In June, the senators, led by Montana Republican Conrad Burns asked the FTC to step in and launch its own investigation because software vendors and others in the industry were concerned about the pace, or lack of, DOJ efforts. The FTC very rarely launches its own investigation without a specific complaint from a company, such as that launched when Microsoft tried to acquire Intuit Corp back in 1994. That deal was blocked and the FTC yesterday deemed the resulting settlement with Microsoft sufficient. The commission also said its own investigation would result in a great deal of duplication of effort as well as raise questions of fairness regarding Microsoft and the witnesses. Lawyers expected the decision, but said it means the end of the road for now for Netscape Communications Corp’s efforts, despite its retaining last year of notorious Microsoft-baiting anti-trust lawyer Gary Reback, who no doubt will not take this lying down (CI No 2,983).

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