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Microsoft versus European Union: Anti Competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage - Case Study Example

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This case study discusses the situation between Microsoft and the European Union is the result of the claims raised by the European Union against Microsoft regarding its anti-competitive behavior. The study analyses the view of Microsoft’s position from the general theoretical perspective…
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Microsoft versus European Union: Anti Competitive Behaviour or Competitive Advantage
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Download file to see previous pages  The case is related to the competitive practices of power that is or can be utilized by the company. This case is held by the European Commission belonging to the European Union. The case is held against the company, Microsoft which is accused of mistreating its leading market position. The company was held guilty by the European Commission, according to the competition law. The European Commission put forward their argument that Microsoft was misusing their power of monopoly for the sale of operating systems of Personal Computers (PCs). The company was held guilty on the basis of two grounds, firstly Microsoft was accused of intentionally restricting interoperability between Windows PCs and other non-Microsoft workgroup servers, and secondly the step it had taken in relation to tying its Windows Media Player with its mostly used Windows Operating System. Tying the product, Windows Media Player with the Windows Operating System was the step adopted by Microsoft to avoid the competition for the product (CentrePiece, 2007). The European Commission, after five years of intense investigation, held the company to be guilty as these practices of business in gaining competitive advantages in the market were considered as unfair and illegal means as stated by the Article 82 of European Union Law. The fine penalized to the company was considered to be the largest amount ever charged for such an act of an antitrust violation in Europe i.e. €497 million (CentrePiece, 2007). The case commenced in the month of December of the year 1998, with the complaint stated by the company, Sun Microsystems and ended with the decision given by the European Commission in March of the year 2004 (Microsoft, 2011). In addition to the penalty implemented, the Commission also insisted on major solutions, which included mandatory licensing of intellectual property. The initiatives taken by the European Union demanded that Microsoft needs to reveal the entire documentation interface within the time period of 120 days, with accurate data. This step was taken with an intention to permit other non-Microsoft workgroup servers to gain full interoperability with Microsoft’s Windows PCs and servers. Another step adopted by the European Union (EU), provided Microsoft a limit of 90 days, within which the company was supposed to offer the personal computer manufactures a version of its Windows client PC operating system without the Windows Media Player. Again, on January 15 of the year 2009, the European Union stated new objections to the company, delineating the initial view of the European Commission that Microsoft is tying its web browser ‘Internet Explorer’ to its central operating system. Microsoft overruled the European Commission Treaty rules, as stated by Article 82 on misuse of the leading position in the market by the company and has tried to eliminate the competition based on the qualities among the competing companies dealing with web browsers (The United States Department of Justice, 2005)   For more than a couple of decades, Microsoft has been considered to be a company which has been vigorously involved in designing extremely successful campaigns with an intention to sustain and extend further its monopolies in the existing markets. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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