Editorial: Did the US Microsoft Antitrust Case Change the World?

Remember when Microsoft ruled the PC industry? In the 1990s, its Windows operating system became so dominant that government trust-busters took it to court. They spent four years and millions of dollars making the case that Microsoft was unduly using its power to wipe out rivals in the Web browser business and other domains.The settlement to that case, which put limits on Microsoft’s behavior and imposed a decade of government oversight on the company, expired last Thursday. Almost nobody noticed. Given the furious pace of innovation by companies like Apple, Google and Facebook, an inevitable question springs to mind: Did the biggest high-tech legal action of the 20th century make any difference, or was it a waste of money and time?

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