Ralph Nader calls for Microsoft to spin off IE

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Ralph Nader calls for Microsoft to spin off IE

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says Microsoft should be forced to divest its Internet Explorer browser if the pending antitrust trial should end in a ruling to dismantle the company’s software monopoly.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft has used monopoly power to harm consumers and competitors, and he has appointed a federal mediator to help seek a settlement between the Justice Department and Microsoft. But if the mediation effort should fail, he judge could be required to impose a breakup of the software giant.

Nader, of the consumer group Consumer Project on Technology, said relinquishing the browser should be part of any court-ordered solution, arguing that if Internet Explorer “was a separate divestiture, the entire browser market might well become competitive once again.”

A Microsoft spokesman dismissed the proposal as “particularly groundless.”

The story is available at

www.techweb.com.

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