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November 19 2001 Why cAntitrust Microsoft Microsoft has been in the sights of the US Government for almost eleven years now According to a Wired News timeline way back in 1990 the Federal Trade Commission began to investigate a possible conspiracy between IBM and Microsoft After that Microsoft had been in and out of courtrooms for about five years without any punishment Then in July 1994 Microsoft settled antitrust charges with the Justice Department signing a decree that forbid Microsoft from using its operating systems dominance to squelch competition Wired News That decree was used against Microsoft in the courts for the next four years According to the article US Justice Department attempts to rein in Microsoft in Information Intelligence Online Newsletter The main complaint is that Microsoft was illegally forcing retailers to bundle Microsoft programs with new PCs or else they would not grant them official retailer licenses The biggest complaint was that Microsoft was designing windows with an already incorporated web browser taking away customers from Netscape and its navigator web browser In October of 1998 Microsoft was taken to the US court on charges of violating the Sherman Antitrust act of 1890 This was the first time that Microsoft had actually been formally charged of being a monopoly that hurt US consumers The trial was drawn out and went through many appeals from both Microsoft and the FTC before it would come to an end After 76 days of testimony lasting nearly eight months the trial adjured on June 24 1999 On November 5 1999 Judge Thomas Jackson issued his initial findings of fact He found that Microsoft held monopoly power and used its power to harm consumers rivals and other companies Microsoft had finally been convicted of being a monopoly in response Microsoft filed an appeal to try to get the case thrown out for various reasons The biggest of those being the merger between Time-Warner and AOL Microsofts argument
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