Microsoft vs. the Government is an interesting case that affects both the way we look at and use the free market. It affects many people, including the individuals high up in government, the employees of software companies, and, of course, the consumer who buys software products. The key issue affecting these people is whether or not Microsoft, the largest operating system provider who has a monopoly on the operating system software market, uses its monopoly to suppress the other competing software companies. This use of a monopoly would be in direct violation of the Sherman act, which was set up to stop this kind of action.
All of the aforementioned groups have a very large stake in this antitrust case. First of all, Microsoft has a very large financial stake in the case; a very rich company wants to keep bringing in money. The government has a stake because the people who elect and appoint officials want to make sure that the individuals in government are truly doing what they are supposed to which is protect each persons rights to be successful and treated lawfully by corporations. Thus, other corporations have a large stake in the case because they stand to gain ground on Microsoft and have a chance at being successful in the long run a and making profit. The people who they will be profiting from, the consumers, have a large stake in the case because they may, in time, get better and cheaper computer products.
The main empirical claims in the Microsoft verses The Government case rest upon whether or not Microsoft is, in fact, an unlawful monopoly and, furthermore, whether or not Microsoft obtained their monopoly through violation of the antitrust law...
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...information. Also, some sort of arbiter would be necessary in order to determine a fair, non-excessive fee that Microsoft could charge its competitors in exchange for information regarding the Windows operating system.
The U.S Department of Justice defines an unlawful monopoly as “when only one firm controls the market for a product or service, and it has obtained that market power not because its product or service is superior to others, but by suppressing competition with anticompetitive conduct” (U.S. Dept. of Justice). Microsoft has clearly crossed the line of legitimacy by using their success in the personal computer operating system software market to unfairly carry over into the rest of the software market. This makes a Microsoft an unlawful monopoly against which the appropriate actions must be taken in order to protect the free market.
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