U S V Microsoft Corp

Summary

The Department of Justice is trying to regulate Microsoft’s software production and sales. The first suit was filed in 1994. This case started in 1997 and Microsoft was accused of violating Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. It also involves Microsoft forming agreements with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that would constrain competition in the market of Internet browsers, selling the Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system, and illegally maintaining a monopoly in the operating systems market.

Microsoft withheld critical information from Netscape that it needed to complete its browser for the release of Windows 95. By the time Netscape received the information, they had to release their browser after the release of Windows 95 and missed most of the holiday season. Other companies had similar experiences, including Apple, Intel, RealNetworks and IBM. The court ruled that Microsoft’s actions were not in the public interest because Microsoft was preventing the competition from developing products that could potentially benefit the public.

Significance

Microsoft was accused of being in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by withholding information from competitors. The court found that the actions taken by Microsoft were not in the public’s best interest and stunted potential competition. This decision enabled competitors to effectively compete with the software giant and the software companies that came after it.

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