The Department of Justice recent case against Microsoft is that it should not be allowed to aggressively maintain control over the internet browser market with the objective of preventing the internet from becoming the platform that could ultimately destroy Microsoft's operating system market. The aim of this paper is not to attack the Department of Justice case. Rather, it is to argue that for consumers one monopoly dominating both the operating system and applications is better than two separate monopolies. In our model we integrate Cournot's theory of two goods that are jointly used in the production of a third composite good with the fixed-proportion model. Utilizing our model we develop a possible explanation for Microsoft's actions – protection of its monopoly profits in the operating systems package market. Additionally we show that the price of the final product is lower if one firm monopolizes all markets. Consequently, the ordered split-up of Microsoft by Judge Thomas P. Jackson, aiming at creating two separate companies, one that will produce the windows and the other the operating systems, will harm consumers.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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