Violations. In October of this year, the governmen Essay

This essay has a total of 928 words and 4 pages.


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violations. In October of this year, the government finally asked a judge to order
Microsoft to stop requiring PC makers to include Internet Explorer when they install
Windows 95 in their computers. Attorney General, Janet Reno, who referred to the company
as a monopoly several times in her press conference, claimed that the company had violated
the 1994 settlement, and that the Justice Department would seek a $1 million per day fine
if they didn’t stop the practice. She said, This administration has taken great
efforts to spur technological innovation, promote competition and make sure that the
consumers have the ability to choose among competing products. [This} action shows that we
won’t tolerate any coercion by dominant companies in any way that distorts
competition. (Labaton 2) The government’s petition seeks an order that would bar
Microsoft from compelling PC manufacturers to accept their browser as a condition of
receiving the OS, Windows 95. It also asks the court to order the company to notify
Windows 95 users that they can use any compatible Internet Browser, as well as provide
instructions on how to remove Internet Explorer from their computer. In response to the
petition, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief executive, said that his
company was not violating the antitrust agreement. He proclaimed his belief that his
company had every right to improve and add to the basic features of the Windows OS. He
went on to say that he hoped to further improve Windows by adding new capabilities, such
as speech recognition and machine vision, to it. The Justice Department has several key
issues that it has to deal with in its case against Microsoft. By deal with, I mean they
have to get around Microsoft’s answers to their charges. First, the department is
accusing the company of threatening computer makers who delete the Internet Explorer icon.
The company answers this by claiming that “…computer manufacturers are free to
ship any competitor product they wish, but they are not allowed to disable features of our
products,” (Just Dept v MS 2). Second, the government is contending that the terms
of Microsoft’s non-disclosure agreements are an obstacle in the way of their
attempts to gather evidence for their investigation. Microsoft says that their
non-disclosure agreements are no different than those of most companies within the
software industry, as well as outside it. Finally, there is the matter of the competitive
browser possibly representing a threat to Microsoft’s key product, its operating
system. Company officials claim that by not allowing them to include their browser with
Windows, the government is preventing innovation. They say that the pace of the
competition will quickly pummel a company that stops innovating, and that the consumers
win because competition drives firms to deliver better products at lower prices. In
essence, Microsoft is claiming that by not allowing them to include the browser, the
government is stifling the competition that it is trying to protect. Orin Hatch, chairman
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held the first of what he claimed would be several
hearings on the Microsoft antitrust petition in the first week of November. At this
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