Microsoft's a monopoly... Who cares? The DOJ obviously doesn't
Posted Dec 28, 2006 13:56 UTC (Thu) by pr1268
In reply to: A cost analysis of Vista content protection
Parent article: A cost analysis of Vista content protection
The title I used above is sarcasm meant to convey my disgust with Microsoft. Yes, it has been proven to be a monopoly. Yes, there was a US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit brought against MS for violating the Sherman Act (and/or related legislation). In fact, wasn't there another lawsuit against MS and their monopoly back in the mid-1990s?
But, this hasn't stopped Microsoft. MS is still a large company which bullies PC manufacturers, retailers, and consumers into using its prorietary software and nothing else (plus the Draconian DRM measures Dr. Gutmann mentions in his article). But, one (two?) DOJ lawsuit(s) later, and Microsoft is no worse for the wear.
Why is this? How can the DOJ successfully break up monopolies such as Standard Oil (which the Sherman Act aimed to address in 1890), The American Tobacco Company (1911), and "Ma Bell" (AT&T, 1982), yet fail to break up Microsoft? Granted, the American Tobacco Company breakup took 4 years (link), and the AT&T breakup took 8 years (link).
My guess is that the DOJ fights the battles it knows it can win, and it doesn't think it can take on Microsoft. Forgive me for getting totally far-fetched, but does anyone else here think that Microsoft's FUD has oozed into every nook and cranny of the US Government so as to cause the DOJ to pull the wool over its eyes while MS gets away with this monopoly?
I'm a staunch proponent of consumer choice, but I don't feel that average consumers really have a choice with PC operating systems. It's a crying shame that the US government fails to recognize this.
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