“If Ford had had a monopoly we’d all be driving black cars,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Franklin Fisher, undergoing his third, and final, day of cross-examination. Likewise, said Franklin, “If Microsoft forced upon the world a single browser, that might make things simpler, but that’s not competitive.”
The lecture was touched off when Microsoft attorney Michael Lacovara, a partner at New York’s Sullivan & Cromwell, suggested that Microsoft’s integrated Web browser was easier for consumers to use and cheaper for manufacturers to install. One of the linchpins of the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft is that the company tied its Web browser to its Windows operating system in order to force manufacturers to distribute it, and to drive its primary browser competitor, Netscape Communications Corp., out of business.
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