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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

10-1994

Publication Citation

47 Federal Communications Law Journal 99 (1994)

Abstract

By traditional business standards, Microsoft looked like an ideal target for investigation by the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division: As competitors lined up to allege unfair business practices against Microsoft, about 80 percent of the personal computers in the world used the company's operating system. The Justice Department and Microsoft settled during the summer of 1994, before the case went to trial. This Note argues that by settling, the government acknowledges that traditional antitrust definitions may be counterproductive against companies that are playing the key roles in building the information superhighway. In the high technology industries, where small, innovative companies gain a dominant position by the quality of their ideas, antitrust weapons traditionally used against the monolithic computer industries of the past may be inappropriate. By analyzing the Microsoft case, including competitors' charges, this Note proposes that the Department of Justice reevaluate its antitrust definitions as it formulates new enforcement mechanisms for information-providing businesses.

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