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Red Hat CEO Tells Senate Judiciary Committee At Microsoft Hearing "Monopolist Has Seriously Warped The Technology Industry"

Presenting Testimony at Hearing to Review Antitrust Consent Decree, Szulik says "settlement of this case must deny the monopolist the fruits of its past actions and impose remedial measures on the monopolist for its violations of the law."

RALEIGH, N.C

In his testimony, Szulik quoted Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly as saying of the consent decree: "'Five minutes after any agreement is signed with Microsoft, they'll be thinking of how to violate the agreement. They're predators. They crush their competition. They crush new ideas. They stifle innovation. That's what they do.''' The remedy, said Szulik, can come only from the government, "Our competitor's illegal monopolistic actions have significantly reduced the open market in information technology," he said. "I believe that in extreme cases like this, it is the role of the government to step in and restore balance."

Szulik also told the committee that Microsoft's licensing, forced upgrade programs and other business practices have created a cycle in which schools must allocate 30 to 40 percent of their IT budgets to cover the costs of software and hardware upgrades. This situation seriously degrades poorer schools' ability to provide an adequate technical education for students. This cycle, caused largely by Microsoft's monopoly power, is widening the "Digital Divide," said Szulik, extending the gap in information technology between the "haves and have nots" in our society.

About the Hearings

The Senate Judiciary Committee convened hearings on the Microsoft case at 10:00 a.m. EST on December 12, 2001 in room 106 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building in Washington, D.C. Testimony was halted after two hours by a procedural matter and the statements of those on the panel were entered into the record. Chaired by Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D, Vermont), the committee includes:

DEMOCRATS -- Edward M. Kennedy, (Massachusetts), Joseph R. Biden, Jr., (Delaware), Herb Kohl, (Wisconsin), Dianne Feinstein, (California), Russell D. Feingold, (Wisconsin), Charles Schumer, (New York), Richard Durbin (Illinois), Maria Cantwell, Washington, John Edwards, (North Carolina),

REPUBLICANS --Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Minority (Utah), Strom Thurmond, (South Carolina), Charles E. Grassley, (Iowa), Arlen Specter, (Pennsylvania), Jon Kyl, (Arizona), Mike DeWine, (Ohio), Jeff Sessions, (Alabama), Sam Brownback, (Kansas), Mitch McConnell, (Kentucky),

Red Hat CEO Matthew J. Szulik was part of a panel of witnesses that included noted legal experts and technology industry leaders. Participants from the technology industry included Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association of Competitive Technology; Mitchell E. Kertzman, President and CEO of Liberate Technologies. Microsoft was represented by Charles F. Rule of the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Counsel to Microsoft Corporation. Also testifying was Professor Lawrence Lessig of the Stanford Law School, and Mark N. Cooper, Ph.D., Director of Research for the Consumer Federation of America, and Justice Department Antitrust Division officials. The Committee also received written testimony from James Barksdale, former CEO of NetScape and now a board member of AOL.

Mr. Szulik's opening statement is available at http://www.redhat.com/opensourcenow/speech2.html and at http://judiciary.senate.gov/te121201f-szulik.htm

 

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