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"Microsoft Probe Spurs Subpoenas Tied to Internet.
Antitrust Effort Appears Focused on Windows 95 Disabled
The subpoenas indicate that Justice Department officials
are focusing on whether Microsoft's Windows 95 and
related Internet software improperly disable rival
programs that let users access the Internet. Industry
executives said the Justice Department has issued "civil
investigative demands" to Netscape and CompuServe.
The subpoena issued to Netscape may be of particular
significance. In the estimate of Netscape and industry
observers, roughly 80% of World Wide Web users, a
population pegged at more than 17 million, use
Netscape's software. Because of that presence, even if
Netscape were alone in having its software disabled by
Microsoft's new products, "I would say Netscape would
have a cause of action and that the Justice Department
would have a basis to investigate or bring an action,"
said Garret Rasmussen, an antitrust lawyer.
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