Ralph Nader Announces

"Appraising Microsoft" Conference

October 6, 1997
Contacts: Caroline Jonah or John Richard at (202)387-8030

Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader announced today plans for the "Appraising Microsoft and Its Global Strategies" Conference to be held on November 13 and 14 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Scheduled participants include Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, Former Federal Trade Commissioner Christine Varney, Gary Reback of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati and Roberta Katz, General Counsel of Netscape Communications and others.

In separate letters to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Vice President Al Gore, Nader invited both to attend the conference and make presentations.

In his letter to Gates, Nader urged the Microsoft executive to share his insights "as one of the dominant corporate architects and philosophers of the information highway" and to dialogue with the conference participants who are among the few still willing to speak publically of their concerns, findings and recommendations.

Nader also noted serious concerns raised by Microsoft's overwhelming market power. "Self-censorship brought on by the detailed fear of Microsoft retaliation - itself seen as a many pronged cluster- is not healthy in any economy," he wrote.

The two-day conference aims to bring together industry leaders, academic specialists, writers, consumer activists and government officials to discuss and debate the business practices of Microsoft and the impact of those practices on our society.

Conference topics to be discussed include: The Microsoft Antitrust Decree, A Consumer Framework for the Digital Age, The Federal Government and Antitrust Enforcement, The Digital Commerce Toll Road and The Theory of Increasing Returns. Conference participants include Garth Saloner of Stanford University, Morgan Chu Esq. of Irell & Manella, Vice President for Huntington Bancshares William Randle, CEO & President of NetChannel Philip Monego, Caldera CEO Bryan Sparks, Audrie Krause of NetAction, Bill Wendle of The Real Estate Cafe, Ralph Palumbo Esq. of The Summit Law Group and Steve Susman Esq. of Susman and Godfrey among others.

For more information about the conference and registration materials, go to www.essential.org/appraising/microsoft