MICROSOFT'S DIVORCE COURT

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BLOCKS A STRATEGIC MERGER

It was a masterly stroke even for the software industry's master strategist-or at least it seemed so at the time. When Bill Gates announced last October that Microsoft would buy Intuit -- maker of the popular "electronic-checkbook" program Quicken -- it looked as if the software giant would not only eliminate a meddlesome competitor but also gain an instant beachhead in the fast-growing field of electronic commerce. There were grumblings, of course, about antitrust, but hardly anyone seemed to think they would lead anywhere. After all, the Department of Justice's antitrust division had just wrapped up a four-year federal investigation of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!