Attorney General Janet Reno said Thursday the Justice Department was proceeding with its antitrust investigation of Microsoft Corp., sending the software company's stock lower in active trading.
On the day that Microsoft introduced its new, widely anticipated Windows 95 personal computer operating system its stock reversed earlier gains to fall $2 to $95.875 on Nasdaq, where it was among the most active issues at mid-morning.Reno declined to say when a decision would be made on what action to take.
"I can't specifically comment except to say that the investigation continues," Reno said at her weekly news conference. "It (the antitrust division) will consider all evidence that is appropriate in this investigation."
She said a decision on whether to take legal action against Microsoft would be based on evidence of the practices involved, rather than on any projections.
The focus of the government's scrutiny is the company's new online service, Microsoft Network, which is being offered as part of the new Windows 95 operating sys-tem.
The department said earlier this month it would not make any decisions on the case until after Microsoft launched its Windows 95 software.
"Wouldn't you know someone from the government would put a damper on the Windows 95 party?" said one industry analyst, who requested anonymity.
He said the government's scrutiny will "continue to be a backdrop to everything that goes on with Microsoft and when the next probe ends a new one will begin - it's the nature when one company controls so many standards. It's inevitable."