Microsoft and the Limits of Antitrust

Posted: 29 Mar 2010

See all articles by William H. Page

William H. Page

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2010


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 the 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 article, 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: K21, K41, L12, L41

Suggested Citation

Page, William Hepburn, Microsoft and the Limits of Antitrust (March 2010). Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 33-50, 2010. Available at SSRN: or

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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