The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

A discussion on the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, on the basis of which the United States Department of Justice, along with twenty state attorney generals, charged the Microsoft Corporation with conducting illegal anti-competitive business practices.

The following paper discusses the controversial charges brought about by the government on Microsoft. The writer examines thoughts and opinions of people and companies that think that Microsoft and CEO Bill Gates are acting in violation of the anti-trust laws of the United States, while others think that the charges against Microsoft are damaging the free market. This paper examines the truth to both sides of the argument.
“The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was passed by the United States Congress in order to declare illegal “every contract combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce with several states, or foreign nations”, meaning that any corporate action for the purpose of eliminating competition in an area of business and of controlling the market for a product, was declared illegal. (1) In May of 1998, the United States Department of Justice charged the Microsoft Corporation with conducting such illegal anti-competitive business practices. Microsoft, the largest and wealthiest software company in the world, was under fire because it was supplying, free of charge, it’s version of an internet browser called Internet Explorer with the selling of the Windows operating system. The government stated internet browsers are separate products competing in a separate product market from personal computer operating systems?. (2) The government was calling for action to split the Microsoft Corporation into two separate companies: software and web browsing.”