Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Netscape is Dead: Remedy Lessons from the Microsoft Litigation

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

First Harry First of NYU Law School weighs in on Netscape is Dead: Remedy Lessons from the Microsoft Litigation.

ABSTRACT: On March 1, 2008, AOL officially pulled the plug on the Netscape Browser, killing off the killer app of 1995 whose success had led Microsoft on an exclusionary campaign which eventually triggered the now-famous Microsoft monopolization litigation. Although the government plaintiffs in the United States were eventually successful on the merits in the monopolization litigation, Netscape's death highlights the problem of remedy. Microsoft retains its monopoly position in the desktop PC operating system market; Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser still has nearly 75 percent of the browser market, despite the challenge from the technologically superior Firefox browser. The European Commission's parallel case has fared no better. Microsoft was found to have abused its dominant position by tying its media player to Windows and by refusing to disclose necessary server-system interoperability information. But the Commission's media player unbundling remedy failed completely and its interoperability order has not halted Microsoft's progress toward dominance in the work group server operating system market. In fact, in 2008, after imposing more than $2.3 billion in fines on Microsoft for the initial violations and Microsoft's failure to comply with the Commission's remedy orders, the Commission announced that it was opening two new investigations into Microsoft, one of which involves the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows.

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one should not talk about "internet explorer" but about the different versions of internet explorer. They have been influenced to the better by the indeed superior mozilla firefox. There is no need for state interference for the market to function well.

There is only one definition of "monopoly" possible: the situation in which there is no "freedom to entry" the market.

This means we could have a "monopoly" when three firms compete on the market, but are making price arrangements. We could have "competition" if only one firm is on the market, but many firms could enter if they wished, pushing the one firm to constantly innovate.

This is the Austrian economic view of it, at least.

Posted by: Pieter Cleppe | Sep 10, 2008 6:38:40 AM

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