Monopoly and Anticompetitive Practices of Microsoft’s, Essay Example

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Essay

Bill Gates and Paul Allen form the principal stakeholders of the Microsoft Company. They formed the company in 1975, which now turns out to be a monopoly and the greatest supplier of software in the world. The principal and minor stakeholders of the Microsoft Company emphasize on issues believed to be essential, more especially to the company’s global business. The issues calling for alarm include address of social challenges, operational responsibility, strengthening of their economy, and promotion of a healthy online ecosystem. Microsoft has its anticompetitive strategies through the production of quality and unique products and services unlike their competitors. Microsoft’s positive reputation majorly lies on its brand image, innovativeness, with numerous education and philanthropic programs. They major in the development, manufacturing, and licensing of software and electronic. Unlike other companies, they focus on employing social responsibility efforts to reach the underserved communities worldwide in terms of information technology and communication. Microsoft has a corporate strategy for the citizens where they aim at increasing opportunities and help in solving the social challenges facing communities all over the world. It advantages the community at large through workforce development, improvising nonprofit access to technology, and creation of disaster and humanitarian responses. The company values its employees as much as its customers. They have a number of social and charitable programs that help the company employees achieve their corporate mission.

Again, Microsoft advertises itself through donations to the annual giving campaigns in terms of cash and kind. They volunteer working hours to the non-profit organizations, and participate in the development of the low-income housing development. They support the schools, YMCA, clubs, Easter seals, and museums. Microsoft has an online library service through which it provides computers, software and cash with the aim of helping people without computers learn through the linked libraries, while exploring the internet.

In summary, Microsoft is all round. It not only focuses on the generation of profit, but also to the plea of the community. It even has committed and a sustainable environmental concern for its actions as it has recycling and carbon reduction programs. It has both ethical and social responsibility. It has topped in the Cision Corporate Media Reputation Index in consistence occasions, and there is no doubt it will continue topping. So far, the Microsoft still runs as a monopoly as no other company has reached its standards to compete with it. All these positive actions comments about the Microsoft Company made possible by the founders and stakeholders. The progress of the company, however, has faced legal and ethical issues affecting the major stakeholders.

Law, legal, and Ethical issues of the Microsoft Company

Like any other flourishing, and anticompetitive company, Microsoft has faced legal and ethical issues due to its leadership and corporate culture. The competitor software firms raise conflicts with Microsoft to try to protect their competitive advantage. This issues test their reputation, with breakup treats, multiple legal battles, antitrust charges, and even the threat of a breakup.

  1. Microsoft charged of monopolistic practices. Microsoft judged against allegations as:
  2. Damaging competition by bundling internet explorer with windows 98 operating system
  3. Employing the use of cross-promotional deals with the internet providers to extend its monopoly
  4. Preventing the PC makers from customization of the screen that showed Microsoft

The CEO, Bill Gates accused of illegal bullying, predatory pricing, and coercion to undermine Netscape. He placed under an oath and in front of a camera for 30 hours. He however refuses to answer most questions single handed, and denies his concern with Netscape’s browser market. Decisions even made by judge Jackson in the process of the trial to split Microsoft into two, one to sell windows and the rest to sell all other stuff. However, Gates and other stakeholders refused as this would bring complete failure of the Microsoft. It would make software development difficult, thus they suspended the implementation. The department of justice proposed the case reviewed but the Supreme Court declined the case. In June 2001, it rose again that Microsoft violated antitrust laws. Finally, Judge Colleen Kollar- Kotelly approved provisions of the settlement on November 2002. Judge Kollar-Kotelly had a provision in the settlement that made Microsoft board members be responsible of its compliance efforts and not the technical committee. Microsoft then subjected to probation for five years where reviews done on its activities until 2007, while some activities reviewed until 2011.

Microsoft has had many other legal issues other than the antitrust issues. It has encountered patent infringement cases on the fall of 2002. It paid to the European Union (EU) record fines since it bundled its software with Microsoft windows operating system. As a result, it is under scrutiny since 1998 by the EU. However, the leadership and corporate culture of Microsoft have handled and survived these and other legal and ethical issues diligently.

Social responsibility and philanthropic efforts

Microsoft handles its legal issues in a philanthropic manner. In one case, the federal trade commission (FTC) suspected Microsoft of violating the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Act. Upon being deadlocked after various investigations, the FTC handled the case to the US justice department in 1993. Microsoft allows the US department of justice to access their documents for further investigations. Finally, Microsoft agrees to settle charges though they never admitted any wrongdoing to save their time for better things.

Another incidence arises where Microsoft and Apple Computers. Apple Computers accused Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO of threatening to stop the production of products compatible with Macintosh. This aimed at stopping Apple from developing competing software products. The lawsuit by Apple against Microsoft, once again needed dropping for Microsoft to continue sending Windows 95 copies to Apple. This was actually a black mail game by the Microsoft due to its power, but the two companies finally worked out their differences. Microsoft bought nonvoting stock worth $150 million in Apple and paid $100 million to access Apple’s patents. This was a wise way of settling issues.

These and other approaches to legal problems show how Microsoft used social responsibility and philanthropic efforts to its reputation and ability to overcome legal issues.

In conclusion, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the major stakeholders of Microsoft, form intelligent and respectable people. Despite all the challenges, they fight diligently to keep Microsoft the leading supplier of software. Microsoft has ended making life simple in terms of technology. Downloading of browsers is simplified, cheap, popular, and convenient. Despite the fact that Microsoft competes with Google and Apple, the stakeholders have learnt to be cautious in business practices, which has even made them more innovative and aggressive, enhancing its expansion. Microsoft has learnt to handle employees, customers, and competitors, and its full potential felt worldwide.

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