Anyone who uses a computer today has likely heard of Microsoft, the maker of Microsoft Windows. Over the past few years, as Microsoft’s software has dominated the market, Microsoft has been involved in a number of anti-trust lawsuits, claiming that Microsoft has engaged in unfair business practices which are monopolistic and anti-competitive. By the end of these proceedings, Microsoft was found to be in violation of federal anti-trust laws. The real question now becomes whether or not these anti-trust laws have served their purposes. They exist in foreign countries very much the same as they do here. After reviewing legal analyses here in the United States, I will conclude that Microsoft may indeed be in violation of anti-trust legislation, but the application of these laws, which Microsoft has allegedly violated, does not follow the intention of these laws back when they were initially written. Anti-trust laws, while pure in motive, have the fundamental flaw of preventing the formation of intelligent mergers and monopolies, when what they should be doing is preventing these monopolies from taking advantage of consumers.
In the United States, anti-trust legislation began with the Sherman Act, passed by Congress in 1890. “The Sherman Act prohibited contracts and conspiracies in restraint of trade as well as monopolization of or attempts to monopolize trade.” The Sherman Act was followed by the Clayton Act and the FTC Act, the latter of which established the Federal Trade Commission as a body who was authorized to prevent corporations from engaging in unfair business practices. By 1950, Congress had enacted two more laws, the Robinson-Patman Act, which mod...
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...le to develop the software that will give people what they want. As a result, the software that we want will be produced by some small business, who really don’t have the experience necessary with the operating system, or even if they do, their product will be over priced and will draw little demand anyway.
Debra A. Valentine, "The Goals Of Competition Law", prepared remarks, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Conference on Trade and Competition Policy, May 13-14 1997, 8.
Office of Fair Trading, Competition Act 1998 - what is the law?, Office of Fair Trading, 6/8/2004,
Joe Wilcox, "Judge Rules Microsoft Violated Antitrust Laws", CNET News.com, April 3, 2000, 4.
"Yet Another Anti-trust Suit Against Microsoft," Reuters 22 Oct 1998,
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