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Thursday, June 11, 1998 Published at 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK

Business: The Company File

Going after Microsoft

Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft, is heading for a lengthy legal battle

Joel Klein, the main prosecutor from the US Justice Department in the Microsoft case, has outlined why he wants to take the software giant to court.

He said that the Justice Department was unlikely to ever take action against the monopoly Microsoft has managed to create in the desk top computer market with its Windows computer software.

However Mr Klein said he was challenging the way Microsoft wants to use its operating system to stifle competition in new markets, especially the Internet browser market.

Joel Klein talks to BBC Radio 4
Mr Klein said the Justice Department did not penalise companies for efficiency, but warned that that it would take action if they abused their market power.

The legal showdown between Microsoft, one of the world's most powerful companies, and the US justice department will take place this September.

Mr Klein confirmed that he is pushing ahead with the legal action against the computer giant and will initiate the court battle as soon as possible.

[ image: Will Microsoft  monopolise the internet browser market too?]
Will Microsoft monopolise the internet browser market too?
Microsoft's inclusion of an Internet browser as part of its new Windows 98 software package has lead to a head on collision with the Justice Department which looks likely to result in a lengthy and historic legal battle.

Talks between the two sides collapsed in acrimony last month.

Microsoft has continued to ship its new Windows 98 operating system despite the impending law suits. It is due to officially launch the system next June.

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