Microsoft After the Mega-Merger

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These are interesting times. Yesterday, following the announcement by Time Warner and AOL of the new mega-zaibatsu AOL Time Warner, the Nasdaq posted its largest-ever point gain and the Dow Jones hit yet another record high. But now that we have a $350 billion gorilla in the jungle, whither our old friend Microsoft? Well, Bill Gates has been having an interesting week of his own. When AOL made its last major acquisition, Netscape, Microsoft's lawyers breathed a little easier. With the AOL-Netscape-Sun alliance around, Microsoft had somebody it could legitimately point to as a competitor, and that eased some of the antitrust pressure on the company. AOL Time Warner has arrived just in time to affect a possible settlement with the Justice department, but Gates must be thinking, a little competition was a good thing, but enough is enough. MORE >>