In her chapter on "Competition, Concentration and Monopoly" in The Death of Distance, Cairncross notes that there seem to be several reasons that communications industries are "monopoly prone" She notes that three factors are the economics of networks (roads that run smoothly, large radio networks vs. small ones), the predominance of systems (products of the communications industry are rarely used in isolation),and finally the importance of standards (allowing users of networks to communicate with one another. She concludes the chapter by restating the importance of competition in this industry (as in all industries).
The New York Times Magazine article you read for class today details some ways that Microsoft has gained market share in the past, and perhaps intends to continue to do the same in the future.
1. List 5 ways in which Microsoft has or plans to monopolize its industry? According to the article by James Gleick, what seems to be the corporate culture at Microsoft?
In your lab today, you will explore further issues of concentration and monopolization
2. Review several sites that explain antitrust laws. Explain antitrust. What is a monopoly? How are monopolist found? How are they penalized?
Sites to review:
The Antitrust Institute
Cornell Law School on Antitrust
FindLaw--which contains legal and comprehensive information on the Microsoft trial.
3. Spend 30 minutes reviewing sites that have traced the development of the trial. What are some of the important issues o f the trial? What are some of the findings which suprised you? What are some the findings that concern you?
The Microsoft/DOJ Trial from the New York Times Archives
Silicon Valley News on the Microsoft / DOJ Trial
TechWeb also has a site with links to the case the trial--links tech
Articles on the Microsoft/DOJ trial
A recent article from the New York Times on the Trial
judge and the economist
Japan and Microsoft
Some States and Microsoft
There are lots of "anti Microsoft" or Microsoft is Evil" sites
Bill Gates wealth
The Monopoly clock
Boycott Microsoft site
Corporatewatch on Microsoft
4. After spending 1.25 hours on the case, what is your verdict on the Department of Justice complaint about Microsoft? Can the communications industry remain competitive?
And, there are a couple of Microsoft is ok, the government is evil sites
Redherring.com has a page on the Microsoft case
And a person on SmartNet has constructed a case for Microsoft