poly: An idea for a Microsoft Antitrust case remedy

From: Peter C. McCluskey <pcm@rahul.net>
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 22:49:30 PDT

 All the remedies I've heard proposed in the Microsoft antitrust case
either require substantial government micromanagement to enforce and/or
create substantial costs without any providing any clear promise of
solving the problems that provided the rationale for the lawsuit.

 I propose that the U.S. government prohibit itself from buying any software
that runs only on Microsoft's operating systems (i.e. if any part of the
U.S. government wants to buy a program that runs on Windows, they would
have to verify that a version of that same program is available for an
Apple, Unix, etc. OS).
 This would create a moderately strong incentive for software vendors to
switch from practices which contribute to Microsoft's monopoly power to
practices which reduce that power.
 The harder it is for the government to live with such a remedy, the more
important it is for the monopoly power to be reduced.
 While this remedy would hardly guarantee that Microsoft behaves reasonably
in the future, neither would any of the other proposed remedies, and my
gut feeling is that this remedy will come closer than any other to undoing
the financial gains that Microsoft reaped from its controversial behavior.

Peter McCluskey          | The US Idea Futures Exchange: speculate on
http://www.rahul.net/pcm | political,financial issues at http://www.usifex.com
Received on Sun Apr 2 22:51:01 2000

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