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Antitrust - Microsoft

8 Pages 2113 Words

The Anti-Trust Case Against Microsoft

Since 1990, a battle has raged in United States courts between the United States government and the Microsoft Corporation out of Redmond, Washington, headed by Bill Gates. What basically the entire lawsuit boils down to is money. The federal government maintains that Microsoft's monopolistic practices are harmful to United States citizens, creating higher prices and potentially downgrading software quality, and should therefore be stopped. Microsoft and its supporters claim that they are not breaking any laws, and are just doing good business. Microsoft's antitrust problems began in the early months of 1990, when the Federal Trade Commission began investigating them for possible violations of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts, which are designed to stop the formation of monopolies
The investigation continued on for the next three years without resolve, until Novell, maker of DR-DOS, a competitor of Microsoft's MS-DOS, filed a complaint with the Competition Directorate of the European Commission in June of 1993 (Maldoom 1). Doing this stalled the investigations even more, until finally in August of 1993, the Federal Trade Commission decided to hand the case over to the Department of Justice (Check 1). The Department of Justice moved quickly, with Anne K. Bingaman, head of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, leading the way (Check 1). The case was finally ended on July 15, 1994, with Microsoft signing a consent settlement (Check 1). The settlement focused on Microsoft's selling practices with computer manufacturers. Up until now, Microsoft would sell MS-DOS and Microsoft's other operating systems to original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) at a 60% discount if that OEM agreed to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every single computer that they sold, regardless if it had a Microsoft operating system installed on it or not (Check 2). After the settlement, Microsoft would be forced to sell their op...

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