Antitrust and the Federal Software Commission
Jobs & Capital, Vol. 6, pp. 18-21, Winter 1997
4 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2007
Less than 20 years after its founding, Microsoft Corporation has come to symbolize the convergence of technologies that has produced "cyberspace" and the "information superhighway." Its cofounder, Bill Gates, alternately has been lionized, vilified, and, with regularity during the Clinton administration, prosecuted by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
The Microsoft matters lie at the intersection of two difficult topics in industrial economics: innovation and networks. Not only are those topics of great practical consequence, they also are fashionable subjects for theoretical research in economics journals. As a result, the Microsoft matters represent a collision of theory and practice. The various government complaints against Microsoft embody a new theory of antitrust liability based upon the academic articles of a handful of Berkeley and Stanford economists, several of whom in recent years have advised Microsoft's adversaries in prominent litigation or have taken leave from their university posts to serve as chief economists at the Antitrust Division or the Federal Communications Commission.
Keywords: Microsoft, Software, Antitrust
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