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Microsoft Playing Monopoly?

In many instances, antitrust suits arise due to consumer dissatisfaction. However, one author, Ron Chernow, notes that Gates and another industry tycoon involved in antitrust suits, John D. Rockefeller, were similar in temperament and inflexibility when it came to compromise but held different images among consumers. During the antitrust suit against Rockefeller's Standard Oil, the same author notes a similar level of hostility directed at Rockefeller and Gates by other business rivals, businesses that perceived them as rivals, and by the mainstream media. However, Chernow argues that antitrust suits are as much a matter of public opinion as legal matters, and in this comparison between Rockefeller and Gates, the Microsoft CEO has a competitive advantage over the departed oil tycoon "Gates remains extraordinarily popular among consumers and the general public. Something like two-thirds of those polled think the government should leave him alone" (Grant 164). One of the reasons Gates is so popular among consumers is also the reason why his competitors charge he has violated antitrust laws. Gates packages his browser software with his Windows operating system. Competitors have charged this is unfair and stifled competition and consumer choice, but consumers receive the browser for free. Can a company actually be guilty of violating antirust laws aimed at protecting consumers because they give them a product for free? When Rockefeller was involved in his antitrust suit, public opinion was rooted against him, but then consumers, most of who paid for Standard Oil in their homes, were being economically harmed by a lack of competition.

Stuart J. Johnston notes in Informationweek, that "The US Supreme Court's decision not to hear the direct appeal of Microsoft's antitrust case significantly lowers the probability that the company will be broken up" (186). Microsoft is already aware of its behemoth size and structure. Many industry...

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Microsoft Playing Monopoly?. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 03:33, December 18, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303968420.html
 
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