Microsoft Corp: Information Technology Ethics and Policy – Case Study Example

Case Study U.S. V. Microsoft Corp On the July of 1994, representative at the Department of Justice, for the United s, sued Microsoft for illegally retaining domination in the operating system market under anticompetitive circumstances in its licensing in addition to software development agreements (Clarkson & Miller, 2012). Next, the involved parties got into a consent order, therefore evading any trial on merit. After three years, the Justice Department charged Microsoft for illegally infringing one of the orders’ requirements. On petition from a grant of a beginning, the court stated that Microsoft’s technological bundling of 4.0 and IE 3.0 with Windows 95 did not infringe the pertinent prerequisite of the consent order. United States v. Microsoft Corporation specifically set aside the question if the case of such bundling could independently infringe 1 or 2 of the Sherman Act. Id at 950 n. 14.
Seventy six days later on the bench trial, the District Court released it verdict. This then steered two autonomous courses of action. To begin the District Court launched a program for updating on probable legal conclusion. They invited Professor Lawrence Lessig to be involved as amicus curiae (International Academy of Business Disciplines, 1994). Secondly, the District Court submitted the case for mediation to present the parties a chance to iron out their differences. Honorable Richard A. Posner who is a Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit served as the arbitrator. The parties agreed in the referral to arbitration and in the preference of the arbitrator.
The District Court does not intend to say that enforcement measures will cease to play a significant role in preventing bleaching of the antitrust decrees in technologically vibrant markets. On the other hand, it does not assume this in assessing the worth of the case. Even in cases where forward-looking preparation seem narrow, the government still have an interest in identifying the contours of the antitrust laws so that firms that abide by the law will know what is authorized and what is not while the threat of private destruction action will continue to hinder those firms that would like to experiment the limit of law.
The District Court also asserted that consumers want an operating system that he/ she might develop an interest later apart from that which can run not only familiar type of applications. Additionally, the consumer should know that he prefers an operating system in demand to sustain multiple applications in every product category, the probability of finding himself strained later when using applications whose features are disappointing are close to nil. Lastly, the average users are aware that, speaking generally, applications get better through successive versions (Monk, 2012).Therefore, he wants an operating system for which consecutive invention of his most preferred applications will be in released in the market promptly. An immense number of applications are programmed for Windows compared to other PC operating system that lures users. This is because it ensures them that their interests will be attended to as long as they use Microsoft’s product.
Personally, I feel for Microsoft because the District Court should not have opted for the applications barriers to entry since it is a reflection of a cost borne disproportionately by new applicants, instead a single borne by each participant in the operating system in the market (Evans, 2002). Microsoft spent millions of money for software developers to write for its new operating system. Therefore, even though cost borne by every market partaker should be seen as entry barrier, it is a subject that attracts much debate. Further, according to Findings of Fact p p 6, 7, 43, Microsoft initiated Windows 95 and 98, and it was able to avoid the applications barrier to entry that safeguarded the current Windows by having APIs from the prior edition found in new operating systems. Because of this, porting existing Windows applications to new editions of Windows has become cheaper compared to porting them to operating systems of other applicants who may not freely add APIs from present Windows with their own.
Whether any particular act of a monopolist is exclusionary, rather than merely a form of vigorous competition, can be difficult to discern: the means of illicit exclusion, like the means of legitimate competition, are myriad. The challenge for an antitrust court lies in stating a general rule for distinguishing between exclusionary acts, which reduce social welfare, and competitive acts, which increase it.
New technologies have brought manifold changes to mass communication, and communication theories have to be developed to cope with revolutions. Technology, and in this case where Microsoft is a subject, it has generally given media practitioners more control over the whole communication process. Mass communication is more of a network for used by media practitioners. In context to the Case of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp, a network in every market where consumption is resourceful to another consumer is valuable (Spinello, 2003). The Case of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp discourages dominance of things like licensing and software. Networks offer anti-competitive and pro-competitive opportunities as seen in 5th amendment because it safeguards against abuse of government power.
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Evans, D. S. (2002). Microsoft, antitrust and the new economy: Selected essays. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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Spinello, R. A. (2003). Case studies in information technology ethics and policy. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
International Academy of Business Disciplines. (1994). Business research yearbook. Lanham, Md: University Press of America.
Hitt, M. A., Hoskisson, R. E., & Ireland, R. D. (2013). Strategic management: Competitiveness & globalization : cases. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Rubini, L. (2010). Microsoft on trial: Legal and economic analysis of a transatlantic antitrust case. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar
Monk, E. F., Brady, J. A., & Cook, G. S. (2012). Problem-solving cases in Microsoft Access and Excel. Boston, MA: Course Technology Cengage Learning.
Clarkson, K. W., Miller, R. L. R., Cross, F. B., & Clarkson, K. W. (2012). Business law: Text and cases : legal, ethical, global, and corporate environment. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.. Business law: Text and cases : legal, ethical, global, and corporate environment. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.