The Microsoft case at last has a silver lining. With the markets cheering last week's reversal of the court-ordered breakup, countries around the world who've considered adopting U.S.-style antitrust policy are getting to see what that policy has wrought.
The U.S. Appeals Court was severe in its condemnation of Thomas P. Jackson - the judge who had ordered the breakup. "The actions of the trial judge," the court said, "seriously tainted the proceedings . . . and called into question the integrity of the judicial process." At the heart of this costly debacle, however, lies not a biased and unprofessional judge, but a law that is itself both so fundamentally flawed and ill-defined that it invites abuse. Indeed, the appeals court itself ended up affirming some of the government's most questionable charges - although presumably because it felt forced to heed Judge Jackson's findings of fact.
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