Antitrust Law Losing Grip on Digital Platform Monopolies: Lessons from the Microsoft Antitrust Case
Hooft Graafland, D.I.Z.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis aims to answer if antitrust is capable of regulating digital platform monopolies in the United States. The Microsoft antitrust case of 1998-2001 is used as a case study to provide lessons for antitrust regulators today. Four primary sources from the Department of Justice are manually coded and analyzed, namely the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Final Judgment, and the Competitive Impact Statement. These documents were accompanied by secondary sources to account for lacking relevant information. The important lessons from the case study are that (1) prices form an inconclusive criterion for analyzing consumer welfare in the modern age, (2) trials need to move quickly, else remedies will not have the desired effect in the rapidly changing technology sector and (3) remedies need to be concrete and oriented on prevention versus punishment. Based on these findings, accompanied by prominent literature on regulating digital platform companies, the thesis concludes that antitrust is currently not capable of regulating digital platform monopolies in the United States. The thesis argues that antitrust has not managed to keep up with the rapid innovations of technology and therefore requires a substantial update in order to conform to the demands of regulation in the 21st century.