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DOJ vs. MS: RIP

I covered the Microsoft anti-trust case ever since it was started by the FTC (it was later taken over by the DOJ). In fact, I was cited in many court documents by the plaintiffs -- not that I took sides.

The whole legal theory was something called monopoly leveraging. That means you use one monopoly in the hopes of gaining another. In Microsoft's case, it was charged with using the Windows monopoly to gain share in Office suites and browsers.

There were negative rulings against Microsoft, but much of the case was neutered when the Bush administration came to power. In the end, Microsoft was left largely untouched and to this day has closely aligned operating systems and applications groups.

Maybe things have changed with the advent of Google and the mind-boggling success of Apple (Oracle and IBM aren't doing too shabby either). So perhaps it is time to let the whole thing go, which the DOJ will do May 12 when it stops peeking over Microsoft's shoulders to make sure the company complies with the terms of the settlement.

However, I'm not so sure the European Union is so ready to forgive.

Are the antitrust issues all in the past, or are the fed giving Redmond a pass? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 05/02/2011 at 1:18 PM


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