Microsoft case study. microsoft vs the us and the eu

Microsoft case study. microsoft vs the us and the eu

TABLE OF CONTENTS Part 1 – INTRODUCTION Brief history of the Microsoft Corporation Company ……………………………….. Microsoft vs the United States of America …………………………………………… Microsoft vs the European Union ……………………………………………………… Part 2 – MICROSOFT VS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Part 3 – MICROSOFT VS THE EUROPEAN UNION Part 4 – CONCLUSION INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW – MICROSOFT CASE STUDY INTRODUCTION and brief history of the Microsoft Corporation company With annual revenues of dozens of billions every year, Microsoft Corporation is one of the biggest software company in the world and its a cultural phenomenon.

Microsoft is an American public corporation that develops, sells, licences and support a large variety of products related to computing. The company is known worldwide and employs approximately 88 000 people in more that 100 different countries. Microsoft was born in New Mexico (USA) in 1975. It was created by two american students : Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The company was lead by Bill Gates for a long time, making him the wealthiest man on the planet for many years aswell as a worldly known and famous businessman.

The origin of the company goes back to the 1960s, where Gates and his good friend Paul Allen begun to be interested

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in testing computers. They established their fist company in 1972, which sold a basic computer capable of analyzind traffic data. Both friend left their University studies later on to focus more on developping computer programs. Microsoft was then found in 1975. In the 1980s, IBM contracted Microsoft in order to develop languages for its own Personal Computer, the PC.

In a series of event where IBM could not agree on terms about the contract of the operating system with its partners, Microsoft acquired the rights to the product that would later become the famous MS-DOS. Microsoft then had all the rights to selling this operating system to consumers and companies, and its MS-DOS rapidly became the industry leader in operating system, making the company’s revenues grow extremely rapidly. 20 years later, the company was still a leader in the industry with billions of dollars in annual revenue and no long term debts.

Microsoft Corporation is still an important leader today by its domination in selling operating systems. The company constantly releases new versions of the Windows operating system and is the second positioned company in the NASDAQ stock exchange, following its long time competitor, Apple. MICROSOFT VS USA The case famously known as United States versus Microsoft is about many consolidated civil actions that were filled against the company in 1998 (May 18) by the United Stated Department of Justice aswell as 20 american states.

The American Government had begun to investigate about Microsoft’s activities as far as 1991. The investigation was about knowing if the Microsoft Corporation was abusing of monopoly conduct on the PC operating system market in the United States. The company was finally pursued years later because of the fact that is was suspected of violating the « Sherman Antitrust Act » which statute to limit monopolies, cartels or any other forms of antitrust in an industry. Microsoft Corporation was accused of abusing of monopoly power on Intel computers and its operating system and browser sales.

Microsoft was also accused of the violation of a decree that was agreed in 1994 stipulating that the company forced computer makers to automatically include its own browser in computers operating with the Windows system. The main issue of the trial was about Microsoft association of its web browser (Internet Explorer) with its operating system (Microsoft Windows). Since every personal computer operating with Windows automatically had Internet Explorer as a browser, this association of the two Microsoft’s famous products is suspected to be responsible for the victory of the company in the « browser wars ».

This association also had Microsoft suspected of restricting the competition in the market of browser by disadvantaging smaller companies such as Netscape Navigator and Opera. These browsers had to be purshased separately, in opposition to Internet Explorer which came automatically with the purshase of a Windows operated computer. To defend itself, Microsoft Corporation claimed that the association between Internet Explorer and Windows was the normal result of innovation and competition and that it was the best way to satisfy consumers.

Microsoft was later required to make public informations about its application programming interfaces aswell as share them with other companies. Those settlements were decided in order to prevent Microsoft of creating barriers to entry and having predatory behavior in the market. MICROSOFT VS THE EUROPEAN UNION The case of the European Union versus Microsoft goes in the same way as the United States versus Microsoft case, meaning that Microsoft was pursuied by the European Commission of the European Union with accusations such as abusing of a dominant position in the market.

The main plaintiff was Novell, another software and services company based in the United States that was producing operating systems for computers (Linux, Novell Netware). These actions took place in 1993 and were about asking Microsoft to release informations about its products aswell as a version of Mocrosoft Windows, but working without the Windows Media Player system. The principal complaint of Novell was that Microsoft was trying to block the competition with the use of anti competitive actions and practices.

It was proved that removing the Windows Media Player program from a PC with a Windows operating system made the computer work significantly slower. A few years later in 1998, another American computer company named Sun Microsystems joined Novell in its actions agains Microsoft. Sun Microsystems accused Microsoft in lacking of disclosure and information about a few interfaces of Windows. Those actions made the European Commision to be even more investigating about Microsoft Corporation, but now in relation to streaming technologies that were purposed to operate with the Windows system.

In 2003, Microsoft was asked to release a Windows version that would operate without Windows Media Player aswell as many informations about software and servers. It had three monts to release the new version of Windows and four month to give the information about the servers. The company was also ordered to pay the huge amount of 497 millions of Euros. The company then released Windows XP, a version that could function without the Media Player aswell as a source code in programmation language about its actions and research in computing. http://www. justice. gov/atr/cases/ms_index. tm http://www. microsoft. com/en/us/default. aspx http://www. learnersonline. com/weekly/archive99/week44/index. htm www. microsoft. com/presspass/… /PubIntDeterm11-1. pdf http://articles. latimes. com/2007/sep/20/opinion/ed-microsoft20 http://itmanagement. earthweb. com/columns/executive_tech/article. php/3823411/Microsoft-vs-the-EU-When-Antitrust-is-Anti-Competitive. htm http://www. euractiv. com/en/competition/microsoft-case-competition-law-caught-politics/article-168541 http://www. microsoft. com/presspass/legal/european/EU_Competition_Overview. mspx