|Judge's Decision Opens (Bill) Gates to Lawsuits|
|Subject||Assumptions, sources and welfare effects|
|Key Words||Monopoly, anti-competitive practices, harm, price, revenues, damages, incentive|
Microsoft has been judged to be a monopoly, using anti-competitive practices to harm consumers and restrict innovation. The company chose to price its upgrades at the high end of a possible range apparently to maximize revenues.
The result is that lawyers are indicating that they will file class-action lawsuits accusing Microsoft of using its monopoly in operating systems software to overcharge buyers of Windows 95 and 98. Microsoft could be subject to billions of dollars in damages. However, users of pre-loaded software cannot generally recover damages. There is also doubt over when Microsoft's monopoly began
The judgment is a finding of fact and is not admissible in private suits. However, when the Microsoft verdict is in, the conclusions of law will be admissible. Thus Microsoft has an incentive to settle the case.
(Updated January 1, 2000)
|Source||Steve Lohr, "Microsoft Faces A Class Action On 'Monopoly," The New York Times, November 22, 1999.|
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