This Day In Market History: Judge Orders Breakup Of Microsoft

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft Corporation MSFT was a monopoly and must be broken up into two companies.

Where The Market Was: The Dow closed at 10,812.86. The S&P 500 traded at around 1,471.36.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 2000, America Online and Time Warner Inc TWX completed their infamous mega-merger. Tiger Woods became the youngest person ever to win a PGA grand slam tournament. The average American earned $40,343 per year.

Microsoft Monopoly: By 2000, Microsoft had been battling antitrust charges from the Department of Justice for the better part of a decade.

In May 1998, the DoJ joined 20 state attorneys in officially charging Microsoft with violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by using its power to stifle internet competition. After eight months of testimony, Judge Jackson ruled on Nov. 5, 1999, that Microsoft had, in fact, harmed consumers and competitors with its monopoly.

On June 7, 2000, Jackson ordered Microsoft to split into two companies. In the months prior to the Microsoft ruling, the U.S. stock market had given up roughly a third of its value. However, on the day the breakup was ordered, the NASDAQ experienced a 2.2% relief rally.

A little over a year later, on June 28, 2001, a federal appeals court reversed the Microsoft breakup order.

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