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Monopoly Power in the Computer Industry A requirement for pure competition is the absence of significant barriers to entry into the market by new firms Monopoly correspondingly arises because of barriers to entry A monopoly firm is the only seller of a good or service with no close substitutes The market in which the monopoly firm operates is called a monopoly market The definition of a monopoly firm or market may seem precise but in the real world when we try to decide which markets are monopolies and which are not things arent always so clear How close must a substitute for a product be before we no longer consider a firm that makes the product to be a monopoly Two forces dominated developments in the computer industry in 1995- the arrival of Microsoft Corps new Windows 95 personal computer operating system and the overnight authority of the Internet and the World Wide Web a subset of the Internet for multimedia use Events in 1995 drew so much attention to both Windows and the Web that by years end the computer mouse had become almost as well known to the worlds population at large as the television set remote control Both Windows 95 and the Web were mileposts on what clearly emerged during the year as the road toward something analysts started calling convergence The term pointed toward the coming integration of all forms of information from simple text to moving video as digital data that could be processed stored and manipulated by computers using a graphic interface In May the US Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft alleging that Microsoft had used monopoly power to restrict competition Based on the contention that Microsoft improperly sought to dominate the market for Internet browser software-to the disadvantage of Netscape maker of the most popular World Wide Web browser- the case grew to include allegations of broader anti-competitive actions to dominate the Internet software
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