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The Anti-Trust Case Against Microsoft By Allan Johnson E-mail allanjohnsondotplanetcom The Anti-Trust Case Against Microsoft Since 1990 a battle has raged in United States courts between the United States government and the Microsoft Corporation out of Redmond Washington headed by Bill Gates What is at stake is money The federal government maintains that Microsofts monopolistic practices are harmful to United States citizens creating higher prices and potentially downgrading software quality and should therefore be stopped while Microsoft and its supporters claim that they are not breaking any laws and are just doing good business Microsofts antitrust problems began for them in the early months of 1990Check 1 when the Federal Trade Commission began investigating them for possible violations of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust ActsMaldoom 1 which are designed to stop the formation of monopolies The investigation continued on for the next three years without resolve until Novell maker of DR-DOS a competitor of Microsofts MS-DOS filed a com plaint with the Competition Directorate of the European Commission in June of 1993Maldoom 1 Doing this stalled the investigations even more until finally in August of 1993 Check 1the Federal Trade Commission decided to hand the case over to the Department of Justice The Department of Justice moved quickly with Anne K Bingaman head of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ leading the wayCheck 1 The case was finally ended on July 15 1994 with Microsoft signing a consent settlementCheck 1 The settlement focused on Microsofts selling practices with computer manufacturers Up until now Microsoft would sell MS-DOS and Microsofts other operating systems to original equipment manufacturers OEMs at a 60 discount if that OEM agreed to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every single computer that they sold Check 2 regardless if it had a Microsoft operating system installed on it or not After the settlement Microsoft would be forced to sell their operating systems a ccording to the number of
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