The current business environment is characterized by intensely competitive business tendencies. As a result, most companies take practical steps to safeguard themselves against the intense competition and secure their corporate niches. The sole aim for this is to ensure sustainable performance. However, relative efforts sometimes contravene important legal provisions that have been established to regulate performance. These provisions are enshrined in the competition laws that govern the business environment. The affected companies in most instances suffer detrimental outcomes, and are compelled to review their practices recurrently. This scenario happened to Microsoft; one of the most successful international companies and the world’s leading provider of Intel-compatible personal computers.
United States’ twenty states filed a suit against Microsoft Corporation in 1998. In this suit, they alleged that Microsoft’s operations contravened section one and two of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In particular, the suit indicated that Microsoft’s efforts to defend its monopolistic position in the business market were unlawful (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010). In detail, the plaintiff claimed that Microsoft undertook various anticompetitive, exclusionary as well as predatory acts in a bid to maintain its monopolistic position. Seemingly, the Microsoft’s Operating System had a pre-installed web browser (Internet Explorer), and this implied that the browser was available to Ms Windows users for free as opposed to other competing browsers that had to be bought (Weil & McMillan, 2003). This reduced the competition that it was likely to experience from other providers. The plaintiff further claimed that Microsoft manipulated the respective software to ensure that it performed exceptionally well with Internet Explorer as compared to the other web browsers. In this sense, Microsoft restricted competition from other web browsers, and gave advantage to Internet Explores as a preferred choice for a browser (Weil & McMillan, 2003).
Just like other high powered companies, Microsoft was taking credible measures to safeguard its wellbeing and ensure continued performance. However, the measures it took were aggressive and contravened important legal provisions. The charges that were brought against it were indeed justified. As much as it needed to safeguard its sustainability, it was important for it to do so within the provided legal limits (Weil & McMillan, 2003). From a moral point of view, every individual or entity in this case, has a right to share in the resources that are provided by the society. In this regard, Netscape and other companies in the field had every right to explore the market for their benefit. This can only be possible if the society provides sufficient opportunities for this. Any individual or corporate entity that frustrates relative efforts in an unjust manner is considerably unmerited (Mallor et al, 2010). The states that brought the above charges against Microsoft were reasonably justified. Although its intentions from a business point of view were sound, the measures it took were predatory and unpardonable. To pursue its efforts, Microsoft needs to adopt other benign measures.
Concisely, intense competition in the business environment has prompted companies to undertake various measures in a bid to enhance and sustain their performance. As it has come out from the study, this is requisite for their continued operation and existence. On the other hand, their competitors take different measures to outperform the monopolistic companies. This scenario faced Microsoft Company. It sought to undertake practical measures to safeguard its resources and enhance optimal performance. However, the approach it took was illegal. In essence, they were predatory and prevented other companies form exploring the field. Morally, this was unjust, and the states had a right to bring charges against this company.
Mallor, J.P., Barnes, A.J., Bowers, T., & Langvardt, A.W. (2010). Business Law: The ethical,
global, and ecommerce environment (14th ed.). New York: Irwin/McGraw Hill.
Weil, N., & McMillan, R. (2003). AOL, Microsoft settle Netscape suit. PCWorld.
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