Microsoft's final rebuttal witness told the Department of Justice trial yesterday that the software giant has not harmed consumers by integrating its browser software into Windows.
Professor Dean Schmalensee, dean of the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of technology, said he believed Microsoft's actions had actually benefited consumers rather than harmed them as the US government is hoping to prove.
"There is no evidence that Microsoft's actions have harmed consumers. On the contrary, its actions have led to better and cheaper Web browsing software, better and cheaper platforms and have contributed generally to the growth of the Internet and portal sites," he said.
He added that consumers have also benefited from a reduction in price in browsers and software in general because of Microsoft.
Schmalensee, who is expected to be in the hot seat at the trial for the rest of this week, was repeating the same argument he had given earlier in the trial.
He said that the integration of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser into the Windows operating systems meant it was a better product and has had very little effect on its cost.
He also said the competition Netscape faced as a result of Microsoft's entry into the browser market in 1995 meant users have benefited from improvements in both companies' products and price cuts.
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