Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2002

States vs. Microsoft, The

by Michael A. Wheeler and Gillian Morris


Although the federal Justice Department managed to settle its massive antitrust litigation against Microsoft in 2001, the state suit against the company continued. State attorney generals, perhaps emboldened by their recent victory over the Big Five tobacco companies, held out for stricter measures against Microsoft's alleged anticompetitive practices. The dynamics of this multiparty, multi-issue mediation illustrate the complexities of reaching viable settlements in public-private negotiations.

Keywords: Service Operations; Public Ownership; Private Ownership; Negotiation Deal; Goals and Objectives; Lawsuits and Litigation; Decision Making; Information Industry; Legal Services Industry;


Wheeler, Michael A., and Gillian Morris. "States vs. Microsoft, The." Harvard Business School Background Note 902-177, February 2002.