At this time the Washington State Attorney General's Office has declined to join the lawsuit brought by some Attorneys General against Microsoft. We have reviewed the case with the other states and we have been independently assessing whether Washington consumers have or could be harmed by the conduct of Microsoft.
To date, I have seen no evidence of harm to Washington consumers. Further, I have seen no evidence of harm to the general welfare or economy of our state unlike the allegations of the filing states.
It is our understanding the state case is similar to the Department of Justice case. At this time, I see no reason to duplicate efforts. With our own limited resources, I can see no further protection to Washington consumers by this office filing the same lawsuit. Any relief obtained by Justice would apply to Washington consumers.
This office has issued a Civil Investigative Demand which gives us access to the documents that are in the possession of the other filing Attorneys General. This is a standard procedure in the investigation of an antitrust complaint. It is important we be fully informed of the factual basis for these lawsuits and we will continue to review all evidence to see if there is any reason to change our position.
The filing of a major antitrust lawsuit is never taken lightly by my office. Our career antitrust lawyers must be fully informed of the facts and the law. We look for evidence of actual or potential harm to competition which, in turn, hurts consumers and we look for harm to the general welfare or economy of the state.
Antitrust laws are intended to protect and benefit consumers through competition. Any decision by this office to file or not to file against Microsoft will be based on these factors alone.