Antitrust Act Essay Research Paper Antitrust Acts — страница 2

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little, if any, resemblance to Windows 98 because Internet Explorer technologies are such a critical element of that product,” Microsoft wrote. Although it may be true that Windows 98 is based around Internet Explorer, should the government allow Microsoft to sell its product and gain more market share? One option that federal and state governments gave Microsoft was to have the Windows 98 package be sold with the Netscape Navigator Browser, Microsoft’s main competitor. This request was seen as ridiculous by Mark Murray, a spokesman at Microsoft headquarters, who has been quoted as saying, “that’s like the government forcing Coke to put two cans of Pepsi in every six-pack.” The only choices being offered to Microsoft at this point are to “unbundle” Windows 98 and

Internet Explorer, or to add in the Netscape Navigator Browser. The unbundling process is what Microsoft Corporation says will take seven months to handle, and therefore had asked for a delay for the court dates. The federal and state governments were demanding immediate court dates to assure that Microsoft would not be able to market Windows 98 as it is now. A compromise was made between the two differing requests, and the court date was set for September 8, 1998. Some foresee this as an advantage for Microsoft who will be able to sell their products through September. But the federal and state governments are happy that the court is not allowing them to go through the immense Christmas buying frenzy as well. It is most likely to the advantage of Microsoft more so than the

government that the date was set for September, but only time will show what happens. These lawsuits allege that Microsoft Corporation is using its power with Windows 98 to stomp out any competition to the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser, especially that of the Netscape Navigator Browser. Microsoft undoubtedly feels that they are only supplying consumers with the highest quality product for its value. When you consider that the Internet Explorer will be free compared to the Netscape Navigator Browser which must be purchased, it seems obvious whom the consumers will favor. Although the Internet browsers are the main focus of the Antitrust suit right now, there are other small details that have been somewhat overlooked. For instance, the government alleges that Microsoft

forced computer makers to set up computers so that users saw the Windows logo whenever they turned on their machine. There is also evidence hinting that Microsoft tried to get Netscape to collaborate in order to avoid competition in the browser market. Netscape however, turned down the offer to join in an illegal conspiracy. Microsoft has been put under a bright spotlight where consumers are beginning to question the corporation’s intent. It only seems natural that Microsoft would defend themselves with a large public relations campaign. For a company such as Microsoft, where the company name is also the brand name, it is extremely important that the public views them in goodwill. The new series of television commercials that Microsoft Corporation is broadcasting are designed

to illustrate how Microsoft is helping the public. This type of campaigning is known as image advertising, it is designed to encourage goodwill toward the company, rather than sales of their products. So far there is little evidence to indicate that Microsoft has lost any support from the public due to the antitrust lawsuits. At best it seems that the Microsoft Corporation antitrust lawsuits are at a standstill until September 8, 1998. For the consumers’ benefit, we can only hope that the US Supreme Court will rule in favor of the federal and state governments. If Windows 98 is released without being “unbundled” then the future of the information age, and all Internet related technologies will be forever changed. When there is no longer competition with Microsoft in any

fields in the computer industry, then the consumers will be left with no choice but to support Microsoft no matter what happens. Prices could sky rocket, quality could plummet, and all because the monopoly could not be stopped until it was too late. Although Microsoft products might be better, especially when using them intertwined with one another, the elimination of competition – intended or not – is never to the benefit of the consumers. Bibliography 1. Goodin, Dan; “Microsoft Trial Date: Sept. 8;” CNET NEWS.COM; May 22, 1998. 2. http://www.us-history.com/chpt_4.html 3. Paulson, Michael; “Microsoft Takes Fight to Court of Public Opinion;” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 20, 1998. 4. Paulson, Michael; “Microsoft Says Changes Sought Would Render Windows 98