Anti Trust Policy in the Modern Economy: Microsoft Anti-Trust Case

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Anti-trust Policy in the Modern Economy
Microsoft's Anti-trust Case

Mark Hinman
UCCS

Baud 5590

Anti-trust Policy in the Modern Economy
Microsoft's Anti-trust Case

This paper's intention is to discuss the role of anti-trust legislation in the modern economy. To accomplish this, we will be reviewing the United States Government's anti-trust case against Microsoft that began nearly twenty-two years ago. To begin we will look at the history leading up to the filing, the government's argument, Microsoft's argument, and the outcome of the case. We will also look at the intent of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Specifically, how does the Sherman Anti-Trust Act protect consumers? Finally, we will discuss whether the anti-trust legislation actually accomplishes what it is intended to do, with respect to the technology industry. Microsoft has been under constant scrutiny since June 1990 when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a probe into the possible collusion between Microsoft and IBM. Three years later, the FTC handed over their investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice. After years of accusations for monopolizing and engaging in anti-competitive acts, Microsoft finally, on May 18, 1998, received a suit for violation of federal anti-trust laws.[i] The suit alleges that Microsoft is in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and seeks to prohibit Microsoft from selling certain products and engaging in certain sales practices.

Time Line of Events [pic][ii] The government's complaint contains four counts: 1. Microsoft illegally monopolized the market for operating systems (“OSs”) for personal computers (“PCs”) under paragraph 2 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.[iii] 2. Microsoft had anti-competitive contractual arrangements with various vendors of related goods,…...

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