Jewish World Review Dec. 3, 2002 / 28 Kislev, 5763
Microsoft buys Massachusetts
Software giant eliminates final obstacle to antitrust settlement
Software giant Microsoft bought the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts today,
thus removing the last remaining obstacle to its antitrust settlement with the U.S.
In a statement released today at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington,
company co-founders William Gates and Steven Ballmer confirmed that they had
purchased Massachusetts "lock, stock and barrel" for $17.2 billion, which is believed
to be the state's break-up value.
"We are looking forward to integrating Massachusetts into our operations and making
this historic state a vibrant part of the Microsoft family," the statement read, adding that
the state will now be known as "Microchusetts."
In Massachusetts, Microsoft is purchasing a state with a storied past, beginning with
its role as one of the original thirteen colonies of what was eventually to become the
United States of America.
But it is also buying the only state that had appealed the Justice Department's
landmark antitrust settlement with Microsoft, an appeal that is likely to be dropped
Former Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, who was personally given his
walking papers by Mr. Ballmer late Saturday night, cautioned that Microsoft's
acquisition of Massachusetts "doesn't pass the smell test."
But while some legal experts believe that the acquisition of a major U.S. state may
create new antitrust woes for the software giant, Gates and Ballmer hope to appease
Justice Department lawyers by spinning off the Boston Red Sox, a franchise in which
the Microsoft co-founders are said to have "no interest" in retaining.
Across the state today, citizens seemed to be taking Massachusetts' evolution from a
U.S. state to a division of Microsoft in stride.
"We'll probably have better dental," one Massachusetts resident said.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz