Microsoft Antitrust Oversight Ends As Apple Overshadows Software Giant


Photo by World Economic Forum -
Photo by World Economic Forum -

After 13 years, Microsoft will no longer be scrutinized by the Department of Justice. The timing is apt, because Apple has supplanted Microsoft as the biggest company in tech — and with Apple’s rise in fortunes come its own anti-trust concerns.

First filed in 1998 and extended twice, the settlement moved from combating a monopoly on computer software to concerns over sharing technical documentation with rivals.

“Microsoft no longer dominates the computer industry as it did when the complaint was filed,” the government announced Thursday. The DOJ also credited the settlement with giving rise to cloud computing and mobile devices, such as the Apple iPhone.

For its part, Microsoft seemed simply happy to get the entire episode behind it. “We are pleased to bring this matter to successful resolution,” the software company announced in a brief statement. The experience “has changed us and shaped how we view our responsibility to the industry.”

Although the Department of Justice viewed the antitrust settlement has prompting major changes in the tech landscape, some observers feel the changes instead were minor. “A lot has changed in the technology market since the ruling but not because of it,” said Gartner analyst David Mitchell Smith. In most instances, limiting Microsoft’s penchant for bundling products is seen as a lasting legacy for the antitrust ruling.

However, some of Microsoft’s corporate power has been diluted with the entrance of Apple and a long string of wildliy-popular products. Apple earns more than three times as much profit with Mac OS X and the mobile iOS as Microsoft rakes in with Windows, an independent analyst reported earlier this month.

Such news is just the latest blow to Microsoft. In April, Apple surpassed the software giant, posting a larger quarterly profit. Additionally, Apple has also passed Microsoft as the most valuable tech company and most recently overshadowed Microsoft as the most valuable technology brand.


  • Exxorcist117

    Apple will soon face an anti-trust of it’s own in the near future no doubt.

  • Left0verture

    yikes. that’s a scary photo of billg. He doesn’t look healthy.

  • chano

    Tell us oh fabled guru of finance and biz – for what reasons precisely will Apple face its own Anti-trust problems? In what areas are its activities restraining or oppressing its competitors unfairly?

  • shahn

    i would assume so…

  • shahn

    i would assume so…

  • larry_Openmind

    This is what I can never understand about the Apple Vs. Microsoft debate. Apple is a consumer electronics company more like Sony than Microsoft. Microsoft is a software company that is more like IBM than Apple. Apple makes cool stuff people want to buy. Microsoft makes stuff people use but do not love or think is cool…. sorry MS office is not as sexy as IPhone 4.

    Microsoft is siting on 50 billion in cash…They have the enterprise, windows, XBOX, Office (AKA Cash Cow) to rack in more cash.

    If demand for the IPhone or IPad drops…IPOD and Mac lines can not keep the company on a growth track.

    Before someone says that can not happen. Two examples

    Sony walkman

    Motorola razr

    Both cool both gone.

  • Scott MoMo Waite ?

    He looks like he needs to develop a relationship with shampoo.. :/