January 29, Before:
Eisenach and Thomas M. Have the antitrust laws outlived their usefulness? Should they be enforced in the high-tech sector of the economy? Is Microsoft a good candidate for such enforcement?
Most importantly, if Microsoft has violated the law, what can or should be done about it? In our view, it is quite clear that Microsoft has violated the law and harmed consumers.
Further, we believe that one type of remedy -- a "competitive" structural remedy that would create four companies from the current one and so restore competition to the market for operating systems -- is clearly preferable to other alternatives.
In this paper, we summarize the factual evidence and legal analysis that lead us to conclude a remedy is desirable, and describe briefly the remedy we have concluded would best serve consumers.
While we believe these issues are all worthy of debate and discussion, such discussion can only be constructive if it acknowledges the voluminous factual and legal record that has already been established during the course of the trial.
Rather than argue the facts, or the law, they have cast aspersions on the ideological leanings too liberal? For those who might be inclined to accept such arguments, it is important to remember that the Microsoft case has been prosecuted by an Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, Joel Klein, who was confirmed by the Senate on a vote of -- with all 12 of those opposing his nomination being liberal Democrats concerned that he would be too "pro-market" in his approach.
Judge Jackson bases this conclusion on three factors: Viewed together, three main facts indicate that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. Since Microsoft has been established to have market power, the next question is whether Microsoft actually engaged in such behaviors.
Judge Jackson finds that it did. In response to the Netscape threat, Microsoft undertook a broad array of anticompetitive practices to increase the market share of its Internet Explorer.
Instead, Jackson identifies a broad pattern of activities for which Microsoft advanced no credible efficiency rationale, but which can easily be understood as being designed to harm competition. For example, Judge Jackson found that Microsoft was able to use its Windows license as leverage in disputes with original equipment manufacturers OEMssuch as Compaq, over which browser would be featured on their products.
Microsoft sent Compaq a letter.
Gates told Grove that he had a fundamental problem with Intel using revenues from its microprocessor business to fund the development and distribution of free platform level software. Similarly, Microsoft attempted to use the leverage provided by the Windows monopoly to persuade IBM to stop competing in the market for applications software.
When IBM refused to abate the promotion of those of its own products that competed with Windows and Office, Microsoft punished the IBM PC Company with higher prices, a late license for Windows 95, and the withholding of technical and marketing support.
In addition to these examples, the Findings of Fact also establish that Microsoft threatened or otherwise engaged in anticompetitive conduct on numerous other occasions, involving such major companies as Apple, AOL, Intuit, Real Networks and Sun Microsystems. Many of these actions have harmed consumers in ways that are immediate and easily discernible.
They have also caused less direct, but nevertheless serious and far-reaching, consumer harm by distorting competition.
This is precisely the sort of consumer harm the antitrust laws seek to mitigate. Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market, both in violation of section 2.
Microsoft also violated section 1 of the Sherman Act by unlawfully tying its Web browser to its operating system. In other words, Judge Jackson found Microsoft guilty of monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, both because it used illegal means to maintain its operating system monopoly and because it used illegal means to attempt to establish a monopoly in the market for Web browsers.
He also found Microsoft guilty under Section 1 of the Act for illegally tying the Internet Explorer browser to the Windows operating system. However, he exonerated Microsoft on the charge of exclusive dealing under Section 1.
On the charge of illegally maintaining its operating system monopoly, he finds that: Microsoft strove over a period of approximately four years to prevent middleware technologies from fostering the development of enough full-featured cross-platform applications to erode the applications barrier.
Microsoft fails to advance any legitimate business objectives that actually explain the full extent of this significant exclusionary conduct.
These actions cannot be described as competition on the merits, and they did not benefit consumers. Microsoft placed an oppressive thumb on the scale of competitive fortune, thereby effectively guaranteeing its continued dominance in the relevant market.
Since the Court has already found that Microsoft possesses monopoly power. The available remedies fall into two broad categories, conduct remedies and structural remedies. While we are not prepared to exclude the possibility that some form of conduct remedy could be beneficial, the ones proposed thus far would appear to do more harm than good.
Given the range of illegitimate behavior documented by the court, and the complexity of the software industry, a meaningful conduct remedy would require a lengthy list of conduct restrictions and requirements.
The imposition of such a remedy on Microsoft would be burdensome for the company and difficult, if not impossible, for the government to enforce. The real danger, however, is that a conduct remedy would lead the decree court and the Department of Justice to function as de facto regulatory agencies, monitoring the operations of a firm with 30, employees producing dozens of technologically sophisticated products.Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The Microsoft Antitrust Case* by Nicholas Economides** Revised April 2, Abstract This paper analyzes the law and economics of United States v.
The so-called "Grand K" kilogram, a cylinder of polished platinum-iridium alloy that has been the world's sole true kilo since , is to be retired. Updated world stock indexes. Get an overview of major world indexes, current values and stock market data. U.S. v. Standard Oil Co.
(New Jersey) and Potash Co. of America. Order Terminating Final Judgment (January 27, United States v.
Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) and Potash Company of America. Case Type: of Policy by Antitrust Division Regarding Enforcement and Review of Permanent Injunctions Entered in Governement Antitrust Cases.
United States v. Microsoft Corp. Samuel Noah Weinstein A. Antitrust Doctrine The Microsoft case implicates a number of areas within antitrust law, UNITED STATES v. MICROSOFT antitrust guidelines.
These guidelines have changed as courts have gained.