Competing fairly in the new economy: Lessons from the browser wars [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 57 (4):343 - 361 (2005)
The browser wars case is a useful springboard for considering the principle of positive competition and the proper regulation of platform technologies. There are lessons to be culled about policy, the application of antitrust law, and the parameters of fair competition. We argue that despite Microsofts opportunistic exploitation of its proprietary code, policy makers should resist the temptation to mandate an open source code model. Vigilant anti-trust enforcement is a preferable alternative. But courts must refrain from using antitrust law to favor small innovators or to constrain the economic protections inherent in intellectual property rights, since those rights are still needed to encourage innovation. On the other hand, despite the exigencies of competition, platform leaders should respect the norm of fair competition and refrain from the impulse to tilt the platform in their favor. Preservation of robust intellectual property rights, deft application of antitrust statutes, and principled competition represent the best prescription for social wealth in the New Economy.
Keywords anti-trust  browser  fair competition  Microsoft  middleware  monopoly  Netscape  operating system  Sherman Act  Windows
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Archie B. Carroll (2003). Corporate Social Responsibility. Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (4):503-530.
Martin Heidegger (1998). Parmenides. Indiana University Press.

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