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Antitrust Abuse in the New Economy

The Microsoft Case Richard L. Gordon, Professor Emeritus of Mineral Economics, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, US
In this fresh examination of the Microsoft antitrust case, Richard Gordon critically examines the economics of the US government’s arguments. The conclusion is that the government presented a sketchy, incoherent, invalid economic case and relied upon creating the impression of misdeeds to persuade the courts. The primary charge is that Microsoft possessed an impregnable monopoly in operating systems for personal computers. According to the government, Microsoft created, included in its operating system, and vigorously promoted its internet browser solely to prevent the development of the Java/Netscape alternative. The promotion of this browser was considered predatory.
Extent: 296 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 978 1 84064 928 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
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  • Competition Policy
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  • Competition and Antitrust Law
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In this fresh examination of the Microsoft antitrust case, Richard Gordon critically examines the economics of the US government’s arguments. The conclusion is that the government presented a sketchy, incoherent, invalid economic case and relied upon creating the impression of misdeeds to persuade the courts. The primary charge is that Microsoft possessed an impregnable monopoly in operating systems for personal computers. According to the government, Microsoft created, included in its operating system, and vigorously promoted its internet browser solely to prevent the development of the Java/Netscape alternative. The promotion of this browser was considered predatory. Microsoft allegedly undertook similar acts against other companies. According to Gordon, the government failed to present even a clear statement of its charges and failed to substantiate the critical allegations. In this book, he concentrates on the underlying economics of the case and reviews the germane theory. He presents and evaluates implicit government arguments as well as Microsoft’s refutations.

Readers in economics, law and public policy will find this well researched analysis enlightening.
‘This volume is a careful discussion valuable for its reporting of and attention to details discussed elsewhere only in more general terms. The comprehensive bibliography lists about 225 publications, making this a good resource for publications on Microsoft up to early 2001. Highly recommended for general readers, professionals, and academic audiences, upper-division undergraduates through faculty.’
– R.A. Miller, Choice

‘This is by far the most thorough, detailed, and careful economic analysis of the Microsoft case by a non-partisan third party. The author provides a window into the central set of ideas that provided the groundwork of the case and painstakingly presents the material in a manner that can be understood by readers. He also examines, in a clear and unbiased way, the testimony of the economists on both sides of the case. Anyone interested in fundamental ideas and concepts, as opposed to superficial anecdotes, should consult this book. This book would be an excellent choice in or out of the classroom.’
– Stan Liebowitz, University of Texas, Dallas, US

‘Gordon has provided us with a detailed roadmap of the economic argument of the Microsoft case, including a thorough examination of the economic theories that were used and an exceptionally careful examination of the trial record. He shows the remarkable weakness of both the theory and evidence that underpin the government’s case. The result is an indictment of both the legal process in the case and antitrust in general.’
– Stephen E. Margolis, North Carolina State University, US
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: The Case and Its Critics 2. Modern Economics and the Microsoft Case 3. Determinants of Monopoly in Theory and Practice 4. Predation, Tying, Vertical Squeezes, and Other Competitive Tactics 5. QWERTY: Threat or Fable, Towards the Applications Barrier to Entry 6. Introduction to the Case 7. The Treatment of Monopoly in the Case 8. Microsoft’s Tactics: Predation, Tying, and Threats in Theory 9. Microsoft’s Tactics: Predation, Tying, and Threats in Practice 10. After the Facts: Decisions and Commentary 11. Summary and Conclusions Bibliography Index