Microsoft and the Limits of Antitrust

Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Forthcoming

University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-40

21 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2009 Last revised: 15 Dec 2009

William H. Page

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 6, 2009

Abstract

Frank Easterbrook’s 1984 article, The Limits of Antitrust, did not focus on public antitrust enforcement. Nevertheless, it expressed the kind of antitrust thinking that led the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, around that same time, to shift its resources to cartel prosecutions and away from big monopolization cases. The Microsoft case, filed in 1998, broke this pattern. I argue that the Division made this exception, and ultimately achieved a partial victory in the courts, because the relatively new economic theory of network effects seemed to make the filters Easterbrook proposed in 1984 less applicable in high technology markets like the ones in which Microsoft competed. In this essay, I return to Easterbrook’s filters and consider whether they offer a different perspective on the Division’s decision to sue and the courts’ eventual resolution of the case.

Keywords: Antitrust, monopolization, public enforcement

JEL Classification: K21, K41, L12, L41

Suggested Citation

Page, William H., Microsoft and the Limits of Antitrust (November 6, 2009). Journal of Competition Law & Economics, Forthcoming; University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501079

William Hepburn Page (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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