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Friday, 29 June, 2001, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Judge's view on Microsoft
Judicial bias may have lain behind the earlier decision to break up Microsoft
The key element in Microsoft's successful appeal was the alleged bias of Thomas Penfield Jackson, the district judge who originally found against the firm.

Last June, Judge Jackson pronounced Microsoft a monopoly, and ordered that it should be broken up.

But the appeals court said on Thursday that published remarks by Judge Jackson pointed strongly towards judicial bias.

Judge Jackson gave a series of secret interviews to the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine in the months leading up to his final judgement in June last year.

Published after his judgement was released, the interviews clearly show that the judge regarded Microsoft with distaste while the original case was proceeding, the appeals court said.

From a variety of published sources, here are a few of the judge's offending remarks.




"I think [Mr Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses"




"Were the Japanese allowed to propose terms of their surrender?".... when asked whether Microsoft would be allowed to negotiate the terms of the break-up.




"...who never figure out that they shouldn't be saying certain things on the phone"... Judge Jackson likening Microsoft's failure to prevent the emergence of incriminating documents to drug traffickers.




"Bill Gates is an ingenious engineer, but I don't think he is that adept at business ethics"




"I've often said to colleagues that Gates would be better off if he had finished Harvard."




"I hope I've got Microsoft's attention."

Referring to his split ruling, this comment came after repeating an anecdote about a North Carolina mule trainer:

"He had a trained mule who could do all kinds of wonderful tricks. One day somebody asked him: 'How do you do it? How do you train the mule to do all these amazing things?' 'Well,' he answered, 'I'll show you.' He took a two-by-four and whopped him upside the head. The mule was reeling and fell to his knees, and the trainer said: 'You just have to get his attention.'"

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