Microsoft Antitrust Case Analysis Study

Essay by Pokrant0930University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2007

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Microsoft Antitrust Case Study AnalysisThe Microsoft Corporation is a worldwide company providing a variety of different software products and services. Microsoft maintains internet sites as well as develops computer hardware and programs. Microsoft is the largest supplier of computer software in the world (Reinhardt, 2006). They are known for products like Windows XP, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET. The Microsoft Corporation also provides products and services for governmental agencies and organizations (Reinhardt, 2006). This corporation has thrived on its ability to develop such innovative software and yet has become known for stable and reliable operating systems for the use of personal and professional computers throughout the nation (Microsoft Unified Communications, n.d).

In May of 1998 the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) was joined by a number of States and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit naming Microsoft as the defendant. There were four allegations levied against the Microsoft Corporations, all of which were violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act (Lehr, n.d.).

Microsoft requested the case against them be dismissed, arguing states could not prove the software giant had harmed citizens through anti-competitive business methods. Microsoft also claimed states do not have the right to seek massive penalties for any damages (Lehr, n.d.).

BackgroundOn May 18, 1998, the United States filed a suit charging Microsoft with unlawfully monopolizing desktop operating systems (Antitrust Issues, 2003). The government claimed Microsoft Corporation tried to eliminate Netscape and Java by undermining Java as an independent operating system using a version that was Windows specific (Antitrust Issues, 2003). Microsoft's concern was if Java developed an independent program to run on a Windows computer, consumers would use both programs. The Justice Department filed the complaint against Microsoft on July 15, 1994, accusing Microsoft of using exclusionary contracts with several personal computer manufacturers (Antitrust...