The Microsoft Antitrust Case is essentially the clash of two separate ideals, the key issue being how much influence the government should have in the marketplace. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Microsoft is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which states: “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.” (“The Sherman Antitrust Act”) The Justice Department claims that Microsoft used its power to establish and maintain a monopoly over the computer software industry by intentionally harming its competitors. However, the issue of “fair” competition versus a company’s right to earn a profit comes into play. In Microsoft’s perspective, the government should not dictate what means a company uses to produce a profit. The company feels that they have become successful simply because their products are superior to the competition. The other side of this argument, fronted by consumer activists, feels that Microsoft has arisen as a new monopoly, eliminating the concepts of fair competition by using underhanded business tactics and ploys. The final court ruling of this case could alter the success of many businesses to come, as it is a difficult decision. Ultimately, the final ruling of the courts must be upheld, but it is of central importance to acknowledge the interests of voters on both sides.
To begin with, there are two main claims that Microsoft uses to support their business practices: 1) the right to fr...
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“The Sherman Antitrust Act.” Section 2. The Antitrust Case Browser. 26 Jan. 2004. <http://www.stolaf.edu/people/becker/antitrust/statutes/sherman.html>
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