Edited by Roger Sugden, Rita Hartung Cheng and G. Richard Meadows
Chapter 6: Antitrust issues: global cartels, competition law and thenew economy
6. Antitrust issues: global cartels, competition law and the new economy John M. Connor 1. INTRODUCTION Joel Klein, at the time the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, gave a speech in May 2000 on the topic of antitrust policies that made the following unvarnished claim: the core principles of antitrust reflected in the Sherman Act . . . should not be changed in this [new economy] era . . . The legitimate ways of acquiring and maintaining market power are essentially the same today as they were a hundred years ago; and the illegitimate ways are fundamentally the same as well. (Klein, 2000, pp. 1Ð2) Klein then goes on to enumerate the principal methods of monopolising markets, using illustrations from the DOJÕs case against Microsoft, an avatar of the new economy (see Box 1).1 BOX 1. THE MICROSOFT CASE In a unanimous and forceful opinion, the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC on 28 June, 2001 ruled that Microsoft had abused its monopoly position in the market for PC operating systems (Labaton, 2001a). This decision opens the company to years of private antitrust litigation by rivals that it injured and possibly by consumers or the state attorneys general. The appeals court rejected the government’s claim that Microsoft had attempted to monopolise the market for Internet browsers and remanded the question of whether Microsoft had illegally tied its own browser to its Windows operating system to a lower court for retrial. ‘Every so...
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