mozillaZineheader image

Microsoft Violated Sherman Antitrust Act

by CHRIS NELSON | Excerpts from the Jackson ruling:

"As the foregoing discussion illustrates, Microsoft's campaign to protect the applications barrier from erosion by network-centric middleware can be broken down into discrete categories of activity, several of which on their own independently satisfy the second element of a 2 monopoly maintenance claim. But only when the separate categories of conduct are viewed, as they should be, as a single, well-coordinated course of action does the full extent of the violence that Microsoft has done to the competitive process reveal itself."

"In essence, Microsoft mounted a deliberate assault upon entrepreneurial efforts that, left to rise or fall on their own merits, could well have enabled the introduction of competition into the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems."

"if Microsoft was truly inspired by a genuine concern for maximizing consumer satisfaction, as well as preserving its substantial investment in a worthy product, then it would have relied more on the power of the very competitive PC market, and less on its own market power, to prevent OEMs from making modifications that consumers did not want."

"The majority opinion in Microsoft II evinces both an extraordinary degree of respect for changes (including 'integration') instigated by designers of technological products, such as software, in the name of product 'improvement,' and a corresponding lack of confidence in the ability of the courts to distinguish between improvements in fact and improvements in name only, made for anticompetitive purposes. Read literally, the D.C. Circuit's opinion appears to immunize any product design (or, at least, software product design) from antitrust scrutiny, irrespective of its effect upon competition, if the software developer can postulate any 'plausible claim' of advantage to its arrangement of code. 147 F.3d at 950.

This undemanding test appears to this Court to be inconsistent with the pertinent Supreme Court precedents in at least three respects. First, it views the market from the defendant's perspective, or, more precisely, as the defendant would like to have the market viewed. Second, it ignores reality: The claim of advantage need only be plausible; it need not be proved. Third, it dispenses with any balancing of the hypothetical advantages against any anticompetitive effects."

"Internet Explorer is not demonstrably the current 'best of breed' Web browser, nor is it likely to be so at any time in the immediate future."

Got a response? TalkBack!


MozillaZine and the MozillaZine Logo Copyright © 2000 Chris Nelson. All Rights Reserved.