Source: Capitalism Magazine
The Prosecution of Microsoft
The articles I have chosen to write about are: Persecution of Microsoft is Immoral, by Richard Salsman and Microsoft and the Mythology of Anti-trust, by Tom Sowell. I will be talking about perfect competition and other related issues. In the sixth edition book by Slavin, it talks about perfect competition in chapter twenty-two pages 595-608.
On May 18, 1998, the U.S. Justice Department formally filed antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft. During a press conference, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Joel Klien and several state attorney generals painted Microsoft as an enemy of the people for "anti-competitive" and "monopolistic" practices. They called this day "D-Day for consumers" and a victory for "free enterprise."
Microsoft's evil crime?? It has integrated its Internet browser into its windows 98 operating system and is offering it as a take-it-or-leave-it condition of sale. That is "coercion," according to the justice department.
What about Microsoft's property rights? If placing an all-or-none condition of sale on one's own property constitutes coercion, then we're all criminals. The justice department's logic would outlaw software integration as such, thus forcing consumers to purchase add-ons separately--a blatant waste of time and money. Furthermore, it hands government dictatorial control over software design. What are these "friends of consumers" really after? Egged on by Microsoft's competitors and consumer crusader Ralph Nader, the justice department seeks to downsize Microsoft, and admitted as much.
To accomplish this they are deploying that phony economic doctrine of perfect competition, which allegedly exist in an economic sector when many small firms exist with equal market share. If one firm acquires "too much" market share, thus approaching a monopoly, the government must bulldoze the playing field to remove the "imperfections," all in the name of consumer protection and...