Teaching Case - Microsoft on Trial

Microsoft on Trial


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  • Product Description

    In July 1999, US Federal District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had to decide whether, as alleged by the US Department of Justice, Microsoft had illegally monopolized the supply of personal computer operating systems. The trial, originally expected to take two months from its October 19, 1998, starting date, had continued for eight months and generated two million pages of documentation. If he concluded that Microsoft had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act as charged, Judge Jackson had to decide what remedial measures he should order to be implemented. However he decided the complex issues before him, his opinion would have to be "bullet-proof," for the losing party would almost certainly appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

    Learning Objective:
    This case can be used to analyze markets and instances of market power and market failure. Using Microsoft, students could assess whether antitrust regulatory policies are applicable to companies in this modern age. Additionally, students can discuss if Microsoft in fact illegally monopolized the market or was at its position today due to its own superior foresight and skill.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: August 01, 1999
    HKS Case Number: 1522.0
    Case Author: Priscilla Offenhauer
    Faculty Lead: F.M. Scherer
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 19
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Inter American Deelpment. Bank
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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