If you read the court decision, this is not great news for MSFT. In fact, they were still found guilty of monopoly practices on several fronts. The punishment may change -- but there will be a punishment -- and it will cost MSFT a lot of money.
MSFT will probably announce prior to the stock reopening that they will seek a settlement with the government. The government will say NO, and MSFT stock will be back down in the mid 60's in short order.
Not only is this/has been a joke...it is also a HUGE waste of taxpayer's money.
I would love to see the Government stop spending our money on chasing down a software company. I'd like to see them take that money and chase down the oil and utility companies. Those companies that are impacting EVERY American consumer and costing us huge amounts of money to drive our cars and heat/cool our homes. THAT is truly where our Government needs to be focused on....what is best for the American consumer, not what is best for these billionaire CEO's of AOL, ORCL,SUNW etc.
READ THE DECISION! This is not good news for MSFT. Note I said hold, not short or sell. But the reality is MSFT will pay a penalty and a substantial one -- either through a court order or settlement.
The government won't allow a slap ont he wrist -- they did that once and were burned. Expect either a breakup or a hefty fine followed by specific regulatory controls.
Remember, many other high-tech companies, including SUNW, supported George W. The politics are not close to a slam dunk for MSFT. In fact, I'd argue the government will persist in spite of Bush's suggestion for settlement.