Recently in a landmark court decision, Microsoft Corporation was declared a monopoly. A judge ruled that the corporation uses monopolistic power in personal computer operation systems and used that power to squash potential threats from competitors. Arising from the Antitrust Acts of 1890 and 1914, the ruling is clearly one that needs greater evaluation and research.
A monopoly is an economic situation in which a single seller or provider supplies a commodity or a service. In this instance, there must be no practical substitutes for the product or services sold and no serious threat of the entry of a competitor into the market. This enables the seller to control the price. Under the Sherman Antitrust Act, monopolies are illegal and punishable by government intervention. The problem that arises though is what about companies that have advanced on creativity and technology that no one else is capable of producing? Do they deserve to be scrutinized for their ingenious ideas? Along with Microsoft, I agree that the antitrust laws need revision. .
The antitrust acts are laws that maintain by legal means a competitive economic environment. The Sherman Antitrust Act outlaws any combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade, while the Clayton Antitrust Act made illegal such practices as price discrimination and tying contracts forcing the buyer or seller to deal exclusively with a particular firm. Presenting problems of free trade, these laws practically make earned success a crime. In today's advanced and technological society, the antitrust acts need revision so they do not infringe on the free enterprise system.
One of the ways in which the acts are faulty is in the lack of evaluation of the defendant. The defendant being the assumed monopolistic company. There are questions that should be well addressed in any case. Is the company really hurting consumers? Are the allegations being made solely by envious companies? What would be the outcome of breaking up the company? All of these instances, if sufficiently evaluated, would render the outcome of any verdict in a case of antitrust.