REDMOND,Wash。

November23,1998SpeakingheretodayonthestepsoftheFederalCourthouse,MicrosoftGeneralCounselWilliamH。

NeukomcommentedontherumorsofadealbetweenAmericaOnline,NetscapeCommunicationsandSunMicrosystems。

Thefollowingisatranscriptofhisremarks。

Goodmorning。

Thereappearstobeadealinthemaking。

Thisisadealthatwoulddramaticallychangethecompetitivelandscapeinthehightechnologyindustry。

Itwouldmeanthattheleadingbrowsercompany,thedominantInternetservicecompanyandaleadingcomputercompanycouldbecombiningforces。

Theproposeddealdemonstratesasimpletruth:thatthereisvigorouscompetitioninthemarketplace,andthatMicrosoftfacesresourcefulandcapablecompetitors。

Fromalegalstandpoint,thisproposeddealpullstherugoutfromunderthegovernment。

Infact,themerepossibilityofthiskindofacombinationunderminesthegovernmentscasefromstarttofinish。

Thislawsuitwasdesignedtobenefitcompetitors,notconsumers。

Theproposeddealshowsthatthegovernmentscasewas,andis,unnecessary。

Microsoftscompetitorshavealwayshadtheabilityandtheresourcestochangethecompetitivelandscape,andtodothatvirtuallyovernight。

Wewelcomecompetitioninhightechnology。

Wereconfidentthatwecancontinuetobringgreattechnologyintothemarketplace,andtoprovideoutstandingvalueforconsumers。

Thegovernmentshouldnotbetakingsidesinanindustrythatisasopenandcompetitiveasthisone。