U.S. vs Microsoft

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In May of 1998, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and twenty U. S. states, filed a court case against the corporation Microsoft. The DOJ alleged that Microsoft was guilty of abusing the monopoly power of the operating system by integrating a web browser. The case was tried in front of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. The prosecuting team claimed Microsoft integrated their Internet Browser function into the operating system and wrote code to favor this function over third party software. Microsoft was also being sued for violating a consent decree written in 1994. Microsoft Corp. initially packaged Internet Browser as a feature that was sold separate from the OS, in their Windows Plus software bundle. Microsoft broke the decree by packaging the browser integrated into the operating system. Rival companies complained and Microsoft threatened to revoke licenses from PC manufacturers to keep them from distributing Windows in their computer systems. Debate between the both sides of the argument attempted to prove how the browser is integrated with the operating system. The plaintiff attempted to show and prove the browser was a separate product and should not be packaged with the operating system. The defense tried to prove that the browser is an integrated feature and cannot be removed. The browser was integrated into the OS because it used the same code and Microsoft claimed this was done in response of consumer demand.

Judge Jackson declared the fact he found in the case in 1999. He stated Microsoft was controlling a monopoly. He also ruled against Microsoft for taking actions to eliminate a rival competition. In April of 2000, Judge Thomas ruled against Microsoft and forced Microsoft to break into two separate sanctioning bodies, one side to produce the operating system and the other to produce the web browser and other products.

Microsoft filed for an appeal to the Supreme Court and was denied. The case was sent down to the...
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