Since the idea of business and commerce began centuries ago, and even more so during the industrial revolution that took place throughout the world in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, monopolies have always been around, but that has never proven to be a good thing. A monopoly is created when one company has a large majority of markets shares of an industry. From Carnegie to Rockefeller, we here in the United States have had our fair share of iconic businessmen who created some of the worlds richest and most dominant empires ever and, subsequently, these empires turned into monopolies. Eventually these behemoths were to be broken up because the governments back then deemed them to powerful and hurtful to the consumer and to competition, which is the driving force of any capitalist system. One such company today that has continuously, and rightly so, been accused of monopolistic practices is the Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft’s Windows operating system runs on 95 percent of the world’s personal computers, making it the dominant force in the operating system market, as well as in the computer software market since its expansion into various markets such as web browsers, media playback software, and office suites. The company was found guilty of being a monopoly and in violation of the Sherman act by the United States government in 1999 and was ordered by the trial judge to split into two separate entities, but the ruling was eventually substituted with a settlement instead. This suit came about because Microsoft bundled its web browser program, Internet Explorer, with its OS for free. This practice of bundling gives Microsoft an unfair advantage over its competitors.
Bundled along with Windows is also Microsoft Media Player. The European Unions’ antitrust suit against the firm stems from this and, in 2004, ruled against the firm. Microsoft was, as a result, forced to create a compliant version of Windows that did not include...