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MS foes want to block WebTV deal

The Committee to Fight Microsoft wants the Justice Department to block the software giant's acquisition of WebTV based on antitrust issues.

He's at it again.

Public interest attorney Anthony Martin and his nonprofit Committee to Fight Microsoft today will formally announce plans to request that the Justice Department block the software giant's acquisition of WebTV based on antitrust issues.

The Florida organization also plans to lobby for a proposed law known as the Consumer Protection and Computer Competiveness Act, which calls for the Federal Trade Commission to regulate operating systems.

But while Martin may view himself of a keeper of public interest, some courts have held a different view. In a 1995 case, Florida appellate judges said several courts had noted that Martin's behavior may be a result of a "severe character defect."

Martin said the software giant considers him the boogeyman.

A couple of years ago, Martin's organization issued a flood of press releases claiming that the Windows 95 upgrade was difficult for users with 4MB of RAM and that the public should boycott purchases.

"We don't want Microsoft to use their technology as a way to injure competitors," said Martin, who said his group is not funded or supported by Microsoft competitors.

And what does Microsoft think of Martin's latest campaign? "We don't view him as credible, and his press release does not warrant comment," Microsoft spokesman Greg Shaw said.