SW Legal studies in Business

Appeals Court Modifies Microsoft Judgment
Description Appeals court reversed part of the findings of the trial court in the Microsoft case but remanded the case to another lower court for reconsideration of the issue of monopolization of the PC operating system market and of the tying of Windows and Internet Explorer.
Topic Antitrust
Key Words Monopolization; Remedy; Judicial Misconduct
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts In a suit for violation of the Sherman Act brought by the Department of Justice, the district court found Microsoft 1) to be a monopoly in the market for PC operating systems, 2) to have attempted to gain a monopoly in the market for internet browsers, and 3) to have illegally tied two supposedly separate products, Windows and Internet Explorer, together in a per se violation of the law. The court's major order was that Microsoft be split into separate companies: one for operating systems and one for application software. The company appealed.
Decision Affirmed in part; reversed in part. The order that the company be split into two parts is vacated. The finding that Microsoft employed illegal anti-competitive means to maintain a monopoly in the PC operating system market is affirmed in part and reversed in part and is remanded for further consideration. The finding that Microsoft illegally attempted to monopolize the browser market is reversed. The finding that Microsoft illegally tied Windows and Internet Explorer is remanded for consideration under a rule of reason analysis. The "actions of the trial judge seriously tainted the proceedings ... and called into question the integrity of the judicial process." Hence the case will be remanded to a different trial judge for further proceedings.
Citation U.S. v. Microsoft Corporation, - F.3d - (2001 WL 721343, D.C. Cir. Ct. App., 2001)

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