The American court system is structured to be adversarial. Nowhere is the form of argument taken to a higher level. Lawyers by definition should be great debaters, paid to make the best arguments in favor of their clients. Only when lawyers make the best arguments do they succeed in proving their case and perform their job successfully. Currently the lawyers at the Microsoft Corporation are busy trying to come up with the best arguments possible to prove the company has not been engaged in the monopolistic and anticompetitive practices of which it has been accused.
A brief synapsis of what led to the situation Microsoft now finds itself in is presented at the onset of this paper. It includes a brief history and description of U.S. antitrust legislation, a working definition of monopoly, and a summary of the actions of Microsoft that led up to this scenario. Following that the paper takes a point/counter point structure. First, one of the U.S. Department of Justice's points against the software giant is given, accompanied by an analysis of the type of argument being used. Then Microsoft's defense is immediately follows, again with the type and effectiveness of the argument being evaluated. Finally, the paper concludes with some thoughts on the overall effectiveness of the defense and the chances for Microsoft to come out victorious in this battle.
Antitrust regulation in this country was initiated by the lobbying efforts of a group of farmers known as 'Grangers' who were protesting the railroads' monopolistic practice of setting artificially high prices. The first legislation passed on this topic was the Interstate Commerce Act (1887). The regulatory commission created by this Act was charged with ensuring "just and reasonable rates from businesses and to prevent the formation of monopolies" (Government regulation of monopolies..., 1999, online).
The Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) was the next major policy pi...