Microsoft's Trade practices *



Case Code : CLIBE043
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Business Environment
Industry : Information Technology
Length : 04 Pages


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The allegations of competitors against Microsoft's behavior aiming for monopoly form the core of this caselet. The counter arguments given by Microsoft with regard to the allegations against it, and the ruling of the EU court related to the trade practices of Microsoft are also covered.


Allegations against Microsoft's monopoly instincts.
Sanctions imposed by the European Union court on Microsoft.
How Microsoft is restricting healthy competition in the software market.
Counter argument by Microsoft over the allegations of practices of monopoly by the company.


On 22nd December 2004, a European Union (EU) court upheld the sanctions imposed by the European Union's Executive Commission (EC) on the Microsoft Corporation, thus dismissing Microsoft's appeal for the suspension of the sanction. The sanction had been imposed on US software giant by EC on 24th March 2004.

The EC concluded its five-year-long investigation into Microsoft's alleged monopolistic behavior by fining the software giant an amount of 497 million euros....

Questions for Discussion:

1. Do you support the ruling of European Commission against Microsoft's way of selling its Windows operating system with the pre-installed Windows media player? Justify your answer.
2. Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said that every company should have the ability to improve its products to meet the needs of consumers. Do you think Steve Ballmer is right and the company is being penalized for being a successful organization?

Key words:
European Union's Executive Commission (EC), Microsoft Corporation, Windows Media Player (WMP), Sun Microsystems, Windows operating system, European Union (EU), Apple Computer Inc., Real Networks, European Court of First Instance (CFI), European Court of Justice (ECJ)

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
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