Microsoft vs. US Debate Assignment
1. Did Microsoft Engage in Anti-Competitive Exclusionary Arguments with Computer Manufacturers, Internet Service Provider’s, and Content Providers in an Attempt to Thwart the Distribution of Netscape’s Browser? Explain you Answer.
As per Section 2 of Sherman Antitrust Act, “Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.” This means that the monopolization is illegal if the company works in anti-competitive way to increase, gain or keep its monopoly. To prove that Microsoft has monopolized, the US government has to show that Microsoft has market power and it has maintained or attained its monopoly through historical accident, business acumen or better product.
To distribute Internet browsers to the users, Microsoft used its individual channels such as including it in Windows operating system, using computer manufacturers for installation purpose and Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide access software. It did so to marginalize Netscape as it would have posed a threat in the competitive market. Microsoft was worried about this threat because Netscape can be operated on various operating systems, which would have destroyed the Windows’ market power. Therefore, we can say Microsoft indulged into anti-competitive actions to prevent the distribution of Netscape’s browser.
2. Did Microsoft violate the nation’s antitrust laws? Explain your answer.
Microsoft Corporation did not abide by the rules of Section 1 and Section 2 of Sherman Antitrust Act of United States and used its control on its individual channel by bundling IE with Windows to prevent Netscape distribution browser to go ahead of Windows. That means, it has been trying to monopolize Windows in the market through illegal practices of monopolizing, so that Netscape Navigator would prevent Windows from getting monopolized, which is against the United States Law. Thus, Microsoft has been violating the country’s antitrust laws.
Brennan, Tim, Winter 2003-2004. “The Legacy of U.S. v. Microsoft”, USA, pp 3-4, viewed April 11 2009
Economides, Nicholas (2001) . “The Microsoft Antitrust Case”, USA, pp 5-20, viewed April 11 2009