Microsoft anti trust case Essay

This essay has a total of 781 words and 5 pages.

microsoft anti trust case



Microsoft Anti-Trust Case

In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Since then there has been
very few companies that have violated this act. In 1911 it was used it to break J.D.
Rockefeller’s Standard Oil trust in to 30 different competing companies. Then in 1982
AT&T’s monopoly was broken up in what has been called the biggest anti-trust case to
date. Now Microsoft has been charged and found guilty. ( “America's History Of
Monopoly-Busting” )

Lack of trust in Microsoft started in 1991 when the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) began its investigations that Microsoft had monopolized the market on PC
operating systems. Their investigation continued until 1993 when the FTC came just two
votes short of filing a formal complaint against Microsoft for antitrust violations. At this
time the FTC closed its investigations but the Justice Department and European
Commission began independent searches. ( “Microsoft, DOJ timeline” 1999)

In 1994 Microsoft agreed to change their contracts with PC makers and got rid of
some restrictions on other software makers thus settling both the Justice Department and
European Commissions antitrust investigations. Then in January of 1995, Stanley Sporkin,
a U.S. district judge, rejects the settlement but in the June the U.S. Court of Appeals
reinstates the settlement. In April of the same year Microsoft was prohibited from buying
Intuit because it could drive up software prices and diminish innovation. ( “Microsoft,
DOJ timeline” 1999)

In October of 1995 the Justice Department sues Microsoft for supposedly violating
the 1994 agreement by requiring Internet Explorer to be installed on all PC’s loaded with
Windows 95. The European Commission also begins looking into Microsoft’s practices.
In the same month, Compaq Computer Corp., the worlds largest personal PC maker,
claimed that Microsoft threatened to terminate Compaq’s Windows 95 license if they
didn’t put Internet Explorer on any computers that they put Windows 95 on. The next
month The Justice department charges Microsoft with knowingly integrating their web
browser into Windows 95 in a desperate attempt to steal the market from Netscape
Communications Corp. ( “Microsoft, DOJ timeline” 2000)

On December 11th 1997, Thomas Penfield Jackson, a U.S. District Judge, issues a
preliminary injunction forcing Microsoft to stop requiring PC makers to install Internet
Explorer on computers. A month later, Microsoft comes to a partial settlement with the
Justice Department. It allowed PC makers to remove or hide its Internet software on new
versions of Windows 95. About the same time Netscape announces that they are going to
be making their web browser for free. ( “Microsoft, DOJ timeline” 2000)

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