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Robert Bork: Laissez Faire Up To A Point


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ROBERT BORK: LAISSEZ-FAIRE--UP TO A POINT

Conservative jurist Robert Bork stunned the antitrust community when he announced on Apr. 20 that he was working for Netscape and was calling on the Justice Dept. to file a broad suit against Microsoft. But it turns out he is merely the most visible in a growing circle of conservatives to question Microsoft's marketplace conduct. Others include Reaganites James Miller III and Daniel Oliver, who each chaired the Federal Trade Commission during the 1980s, and Jeffrey Eisenach, president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a think tank founded by House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Conservatives say they aren't softening their free-market ideology, but Microsoft's behavior may be so anticompetitive that intervention could be needed. "If you don't think this case should be brought, I challenge you to ever find a case that should," Oliver says.

Microsoft, meanwhile, now awaits the ruling of a three-judge panel, which on Apr. 21 heard its motion to reverse a December injunction that Justice won to enforce a 1995 consent decree.EDITED BY KELLEY HOLLAND


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