Microsoft Anti-Trust Issue

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In May of 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice, 20 states, and the District of Columbia all joined in a set of civil action lawsuits against Microsoft. Each of the plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power in its handling of operating system sales and web browser sales by engaging in predatory practices ( The foundational issue in the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship web browser, Internet Explorer (IE) software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. Doing so would allow Microsoft a clear advantage when competing with other browser companies primarily because Microsoft Windows would work the fastest with IE as opposed to other web browsers like Netscape, at the time. This was said to be done by manipulating application programming interfaces (API’s), to be more compatible with internet explorer than any third-party browser. Microsoft’s argument was that the combination of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer was implemented due to innovation and competition in the marketplace (Dickinson v Microsoft). Microsoft argued that both products were packaged together so essentially they were giving IE away for free. However, the opposition stated that Windows and IE were unique and separate entities because there was already an IE product for the Mac OS (Dickinson v Microsoft). Although, the claims against Microsoft may have very well been valid, I believe they were just doing what they could to gain a competitive edge in this capitalistic market but by fraudulent means. During the trial the Department of Justice found that not only had Microsoft violated a “1994 consent decree which forced computer makers to include its Internet browser as a part of the installation of Windows software,” (Dickinson v Microsoft) but they also threatened personal computer (PC) manufacturers with

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