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 is at stake 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, while
Microsoft and its supporters claim that they are not breaking any laws, and are just doing
Microsoft's antitrust problems began for them in the early months of 1990(Check
1), when the Federal Trade Commission began investigating them for possible violations
of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts,(Maldoom 1) 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, (Check 1)the Federal Trade Commission decided to hand the case over to the
Department of Justice. 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
(Check 2) regardless if it had a Microsoft operating system installed on it or not. After the
settlement, Microsoft would be forced...