U.S vs. Microsoft
The current pending case against Microsoft involves the U.S department of Justice anti-trust Division and Attorney generals from 19 U.S states. The topic of the case is whether or not Microsoft has violated and Anti-Trust laws by using its monopoly in the Windows operating system to eliminate competition and harm consumers. By creating higher prices and downgrading software quality they Federal government has stated that Microsoft's practices are harmful to citizens and should be stopped.
Microsoft's Anti-trust problems started early in 1990 when the FTC (federal trade commission) started investigating them for possible violations of the Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust Acts which were designed to stop the formation of monopolies. * A monopoly is a situation where a single seller or producer supplies a commodity or a service. * Operating in an environment where there are no real substitutes for the product or service sold, the monopoly then controls the pricing.
After several years of investigation, the FTC handed the case over to the Department of Justice. On July 15th 1994 the case settled. Microsoft signed a settlement that said they would sell MS-DOS and other operating systems at a 60% discount if the original equipment manufactures if they agreed to pay a royalty for every computer they sold whether it had Microsoft's operating system on it or not. Microsoft was also able to specify the minimum number of operating systems the retailer had to buy which eliminated the chance for another operating system vendor to get their system installed until the retailer had installed all of Microsoft's operating systems that it had to sell. It also allowed Microsoft to sign retailers on to contracts for long periods of time. This eliminated the chance of any new operating systems becoming popular, if that company wanted to...