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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gates Turns Tables on His Accusers

WASHINGTON -- In his most tart and aggressive comments yet about the antitrust case against his company, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates blamed the U.S. government for what has been widely perceived as his uncooperative attitude in a videotaped deposition, saying the real problem was not the answers he gave, but the questions he was asked.

"I had expected Boies to ask me about competition in the software industry,'' Gates said Monday, referring to David Boies, the government's lead lawyer in the antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp.

Instead, he said during a news conference, Boies was just "badgering'' him "to give yes or no answers when he knew the questions were ambiguous.''

"I answered every question, but Boies made it clear that he is out to destroy Microsoft and make us look very bad,'' Gates said.

Microsoft's arguments have resulted in at least one convert. South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon - one of 20 state attorneys general who filed their own antitrust suit against Microsoft - said Monday he was dropping out of the case. In announcing his decision, Condon cited the planned acquisition of Netscape Communications by America Online as evidence of healthy competition in the Internet industry.

That has been a Microsoft argument since the proposed acquisition was announced last week.

New York, the lead state in the suit, was unfazed by Condon's decision. "It will have no impact on the case,'' said Marc Wurzel, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco. "And in the context of multistate efforts like this, it's not at all unusual for states to come in and drop out as the matter proceeds.''