Should the government break upp Microsoft?

Essay by ophof33University, Bachelor'sA+, January 2005

download word file, 1 pages 2.0

If the Department of Justice should break up this multi-million dollar establishment, and "slice the company into competing camps" won't this juncture allow Microsoft to ultimately profit more in the end? Over 90% of the world's computers already run Microsoft Windows, which includes the Internet Explorer.

The Sherman Antitrust Act was put to into place in the late 1800's to forbid trusts and overturn illegal monopolies or "monopolies that could be shown to be using their power to squelch competition."1 This Act has been used against two monopolies thus far, the Standard Oil Company and the American Tobacco Company. A judge for the Department of Justice found that Microsoft violated a section of this Act when the company decided to "tie its Web browser to its operating system."2 Because of this innovative marketing decision by Microsoft, it essentially blocked all avenues and caused competitors to lose business. Such companies included IBM, Netscape / AOL, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems.

Companies that essentially pushed the government to do for them in court what they couldn't do in the market world, beat out Microsoft. No other company could manufacture what Microsoft has historically produced. Microsoft is now a monopolistic practice because of good business.

In a report from the Computer Communications Industry Association, it explained, "that Microsoft has monopoly power and has used its market dominance to hurt rivals, lock-in consumers, stifle competition, innovation and inflate prices." As true as this is, we cannot ignore that this IS good business. The disadvantage is that it broke the Sherman Antitrust Act, the law, but it produced a multi-million dollar company that did in fact monopolize most of the world.

Given the nature of Microsoft's violations, dividing the company would solve a number of problems and steer the industry in a new direction.