Learning Objectives & OverviewCourse Syllabus | LH's Virtual Office

Business Ethics: Concepts & Cases (6th edition) : Chapter 4
Ethics in the Marketplace


4.1 Perfect Competition

Equilibrium in Perfectly Competitive Markets

Ethics and Perfectly Competitive Markets (PCMs)

4.2 Monopoly Competition

Monopoly Competition: Justice, Utility, and Rights

4.3 Oligopolistic Competition

Explicit Agreements

Tacit Agreements


Oligopolies and Public Policy

The Do-Nothing View

The Antitrust View

The Regulation View

Case for Discussions

Playing Monopoly: Microsoft (ABC News CD-ROM)

Case History

Questions for Discussion

  1. Identify the behaviors that you think are ethically questionable in the history of Microsoft.  Evaluate the ethics of these behaviors.
  2. What characteristics of the market for operating systems do you think created the monopoly market for Microsoft?  Evaluate this market in terms of utility, rights, and justice.
  3. In your view, should the government have sued Microsoft for violation of the antitrust laws?  Was Judge Jackson's order that Microsoft be broken into two companies fair to Microsoft?  Was Judge Kollar-Kotelly's November 1, 2003 decision fair?  Was the April 2004 decision of the European Commission fair to Microsoft?
  4. Who, if anyone, is harmed by the sort of market that Microsoft's operating system has enjoyed?  What kind of public policies, if any, should we have to deal with industries like the operating system industry?
  5. What other issues do you believe this case raises or what else to you think it shows?

Archer Daniels Midland and the Friendly Competitors

Questions for Discussion

  1. Evaluate Terry Wilson's assertion that the difference between the $1.20/lb. price of Lysine when ADM entered the market and the $.60/lb. the price fell to due to the oversupply that resulted from ADM's entry  was money that the five companies were "giving away to their customers" (p.201).  What, if anything, is wrong with the principle that "the competitor is our friend and the customer is our enemy"?  
  2. Your text cites a number of factors that cause companies to engage in price-fixing.  Identify the factors that you think were present in the ADM case & explain.
  3. Was Mark Whitacre to blame for what he did?  For which of the things that he did?  Do you feel that in the end he was treated fairly?  Why or why not?
  4. What other issues do you believe this case raises or what else to you think it shows?

Learning Objectives & Overview | Course Syllabus | LH's Virtual Office