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Unformatted text preview: Diane E. Malone MBA 502 Mod 4.1 July 25, 2010 M icrosoft Monopoly Buy Yourself a Get Out of Jail F ree Card Microsoft is no stranger to the courtroom or allegations of breaking U.S. laws barring business practices encouraging monopolistic behavior in the market. Microsoft has battled antitrust cases for almost as long as they have been in business and will continue to do so. They have been in court against Sun Microsystems, Compaq, and the 20 states together with the (DOJ) Department of Justice, of course. In addition, the EU has taken them to court together with AOL Time Warner, Novell, Sun, and IBM. Microsoft has a habit of making its own rules and trying to explain itself later (Kawamoto & McCullagh, 2005). This doesnt usually work in legal systems, but it seems to be fairly effective for Microsoft. This, even though they are terrible liars and dont seem to have a new game plan for each case they face. But, when you are one of the largest IT companies in the United States or the world, I guess its enough. Microsoft was accused of antitrust violations in the 1990s, by Sun Microsystems, Inc., regarding the licensing of their use of Suns Java (Bowman, The Year In Software: Surprise!, 1998). In November of 1998, a judge saw fit to stop Microsoft from shipping any products containing Java which were not compatible with Suns version. In other words, Microsoft had been altering the Java code to fit their OS and not anyone elses, which is usually an indication of evil intentions in the marketplace, in my opinion. Also in 1998, Microsoft had virtually cornered the PC and OS markets for personal as well as business usage. More directly, Microsoft was virtually the only software company selling mass amounts of new PCs fitted only with their OS and their own browser, Internet Explorer. As a result, they were writing their own ticket at this point and setting their own price-point as well, eliminating the possibility of the buyers having an effect on the price. Sure there was the Mac OS and at that time, still BeOS, but otherwise the market was a fairly closed one (United States v. Microsoft, 2010). This might be considered to be a monopolist situation. One in which the buyer does not and could not have any effect on the price of the goods being purchased. In the United States this is illegal....
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