Did Microsoft Harm Consumers?: Two Opposing Views by Mfranklin M. Fisher, Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Richard L.

By Mfranklin M. Fisher, Daniel L. Rubinfeld, Richard L. Schmalensee, Visit Amazon's David S. Evans Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, David S. Evans,

Usa v. Microsoft is arguably crucial antitrust case of the earlier decade. it is going to have significant implications for a way governments keep an eye on info applied sciences and the arrival web explosion. it's going to even have very important outcomes for a way companies behave available on the market and within the political arena.In this quantity the best economists for the govt and for the Microsoft company lay out their perspectives at the key concerns after which reply to the perspectives provided by way of the opposing facet. The research illuminates some of the complicated matters inquisitive about assessing the best scope for antitrust intervention in info know-how industries.

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For example, Microsoft provided ways to remove IE in Windows 95—a function that would most likely not have been provided if it decreased the quality of the operating system. 60 In fact, Microsoft permitted Dell to remove IE from the desktop for Windows 95 at the request of that original equipment manufacturer’s large customers. Presumably, Microsoft would not allow that kind of exception if it undermined the quality of the operating system. Likewise, original equipment manufacturers would not negotiate to remove IE if the operating system would be adversely affected, since a poorly operating computer would reflect unfavorably on the original equipment manufacturer and would be likely to increase the number of customer sup- 28 AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS port calls.

Other Internetfriendly platforms might draw applications writers away from Windows. 10 Or, as discussed above, consumers could migrate to Web-based applications that could be used with almost any computer. Or rivals could gain control of the communication and language standards for the Internet and leave Microsoft at a severe competitive disadvantage. THREE TYPES OF FIGURE 2-1 SOFTWARE PLATFORMS: OPERATING SYSTEMS, MIDDLEWARE, AND THE WEB 52 52 HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS SELLING AN ANTITRUST CASE HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS SELLING AN ANTITRUST CASE 53 Microsoft’s response was to develop new Internetrelated technologies and to promote their use.

If Microsoft’s IE browser and Windows operating system are superior products, then competition will lead original equipment manufacturers, Internet service providers, Internet content providers, and customers to choose them, and Microsoft need not have artificially influenced those choices. But Microsoft has engaged in conduct that has no compelling economic justification but for its effect of restricting competition. 81 Judge Jackson’s findings of fact support the view that Microsoft’s anticompetitive acts caused immediate harm.

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