United States V Microsoft: a Case for Antitrust Ethics Courses

1182 WordsDec 10, 20115 Pages
United States v Microsoft: a Case for Antitrust Ethics Courses Eva Marie Cole BUS 670 Prof. Troy Tureau October 17, 2011 United States v Microsoft: a Case for Antitrust Ethics Courses In 1994, Microsoft Corporation was sued by the Department of Justice on behalf of the United States for violating §2 of the Sherman Act “…by engaging in monopolization through a series of exclusionary and anticompetitive acts designed to maintain its monopoly power” (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers, & Langvardt, 2010, p. 1275, para 3). More specifically, the company was charged with, among other things, violating the Act by 1) attempting to monopolize the Web browser market, 2) tying its Internet Explorer (IE) browser application to its Windows operating…show more content…
Third, the licensing agreement prevented OEMs from modifying the PC’s boot sequence, which in turn stopped many OEMs from inserting ads for Internet access providers (IAPs) because many IAPs at the time relied upon IE’s competing browser, Netscape. These licensing restrictions, according to the Court, “…represent uses of Microsoft’s market power…The restrictions therefore violate § 2 of the Sherman Act” (United States v Microsoft, 2001) According to the plaintiff, however, the anticompetitive behavior extended beyond the OEMs and into its agreements with IAPs and independent software vendors (ISVs). Microsoft's exclusive agreements with 14 of the 15 leading providers (e.g. America Online), for example, effectively cut off one of two major distribution channels for competing browsers (United States v Microsoft, 2001). “By ensuring that the majority of all IAP subscribers are offered IE either as the default browser or as the only browser, Microsoft’s deals with the IAPs clearly have a significant effect in preserving its monopoly” (United States v Microsoft, 2001). With respect to ISVs, Microsoft promised preferential treatment and support for ISVs that agreed to use IE as the default browser in any hypertext-based program user-interface and use its “HTML Help” file, (which was only found in IE) to implement the

More about United States V Microsoft: a Case for Antitrust Ethics Courses

Open Document