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Microsoft Antitrust Case

Microsoft is one of the most influential companies in the software and computer industry. Even early on the company was successful and in 1983, Microsoft had around $55 million dollars in sales.

In 1992, the United States Federal Trade Commission began looking into claims that Microsoft held a monopoly on the Personal Computer industry and that Microsoft was abusing that monopoly. Microsoft Antitrust CaseThe Commission ended up closing the investigation because of a tied vote, but soon after Janet Reno led the Department of Justice’s investigation on its unlawful monopoly strategies. The following year Microsoft settled and they agreed to change the way they bundled Microsoft products and the Windows operating system.

In May of 1998, The US Department of Justice and twenty states sued Microsoft for continuing illegal use of monopoly strategies within its line of software. On November 5, 1999 Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his findings that Microsoft’s operating system market was a monopoly and that Microsoft had purposely taken action to hinder other companies like Apple, Netscape, Lotus, and Java from being able to compete in the market. He also released a second judgment in 2000, and he found that Microsoft did committed monopolization, attempted monopolization, and violated sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In response to the judgment, Microsoft was forced to separate into two different companies. One company was established to create the operating systems and another to produce and sell software.

Microsoft did try to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court, but the court denied the appeal. On November 2, 2001 the Department of Justice and Microsoft agreed to a settlement. The settlement required that Microsoft had to share tis applications with other third-party companies.

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