Microsoft Violated Sherman Antitrust Act
Monday April 3rd, 2000
In his ruling today, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found Microsoft in violation of the Sherman Antritrust Act, stating that "The Court concludes that Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market".
Microsoft's problem was that they had lost all credibility with the judge, and thus he had no option but to side with the facts presented by the government.
Click here to read an excerpt at ABCNews.com.
Here's a link to the ruling. Click "Full Article" below for some of our own excerpts. More to come, as we go over the ruling in more detail.
#38 Why Microsoft is being punished
Tuesday April 4th, 2000 8:09 AM
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Microsoft built a better browser than NS 4.x...I cannot contest that, nor can anyone else thinking with a clear head. Tying it to the OS is actually pretty cool in concept -- something Netscape should have pursued further.
What people have to realize here is that Microsoft is being punished for their business practices: They punished OEM's for installing NS onto systems, they made deals with companies to lock out competition, and they even enticed other businesses with case rewards for switching to a product that was free in the first place. Speaking of a free product...they used their stranglehold on the OS market to leverage giving away their browser for free. Even if it is a better browser than NS, how could NS compete against that?
Microsoft is not successful solely on the quality of their software. They used their 90% share of the world's PC's to release software that would further cement their hold on the market. Many businesses have started out with great products only to be bought by Microsoft so that they could include it in Windows and reap the profits from sales. Had those businesses refused, Microsoft would no doubt find ways to crush them. Anyone remember Pen Windows? THAT's the issue here.
If Microsoft wanted to avoid all this mess, they should have welcomed the competition from Netscape. They should have allowed OEM's to put both browsers on systems. They should have not forced businesses to sign exclusionary agreements. They should have produced a compliant version of Java. In short, they should have played fair to begin with. But they didn't, and the DOJ has nailed them on it.
Will they win in appeals court? Who knows? That's going to take a long time to play out. What's important now is that the battles of the past have been lost but the war is not over. Netscape still stands a chance at regaining their market share. The folks at AOL are the kings of free software, and you can bet that they'll take advantage of the ruling to rain on Microsoft's parade. Eventually we'll see Mozilla as AOL's browser of choice (thanks to the modular engine). We'll see Mozilla running on systems that Microsoft doesn't bother writing code for. We'll see Mozilla running where we don't even recognize it's Mozilla.
As long as there are those of us around that believe in the open source nature of Mozilla, it will never die, and Microsoft will never have a 100% hold on the browser market. IE got help taking over thanks to Microsoft's share of the OS market. Netscape may once again take over thanks to the DOJ. God Bless America!