Government Vigorish: The Microsoft story | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

Government Vigorish: The Microsoft story

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Ted Disante of Tucson wrote an interesting note about this item from last week, which referred to Washington as a gigantic lobbying operation:

Here’s an additional tidbit to support your POV. Recall when Microsoft was a de facto monopoly in the 1980s-90s and DC (acting not unlike an organized crime family) started saying the equivalent of: “Nice little business you have there. Too bad if something were to happen to it.” So the Department of Justice established anti-monopoly proceedings against it; a legal battle ensued; Microsoft eventually established a presence in DC, creating a lobbying program, hiring ex-legislators and the like to spread around cash and favors; a settlement was then reached under the Bush administration, requiring some money and gifts of software, but a lot less than originally asked for. In effect, DC demanded and received their cream off the top and eventually got it.

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