Baby Bills

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Baby Bills'

A hypothetical nickname for the smaller companies that would have been formed if Microsoft had been broken up for violation of antitrust rules in 2000. Baby Bills stood a real chance of having actually been formed since the U.S. government did call for the company's breakup, but the decision was reversed the following year so Microsoft instead was permitted to keep operating as one company.

BREAKING DOWN 'Baby Bills'

The antitrust suit in question was brought against Microsoft in 1993 after an investigation of possible collusion between Microsoft and IBM hit a dead end. The Justice Department settled with Microsoft in 1994 after documents signed by the company force them to agree not to "squelch" competition by creating operating system dominance. In 1997, the Justice Department filed a complaint that Microsoft had violated the decree by demanding that Internet Explorer be bundled with PCs in order to get a Windows 95 license. After years of trials and appeals, they were finally able to come to an agreement in 2001.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Steve Ballmer

    A long-time key executive and chief executive officer of Microsoft ...
  2. Split-Up

    A corporate action in which a single company splits into two ...
  3. Bill And Melinda Gates

    Two out of the three co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates ...
  4. Antitrust

    The antitrust laws apply to virtually all industries and to every ...
  5. Baby Bells

    A common nickname given to the U.S. regional telephone companies ...
  6. Monopoly

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly ...
Related Articles
  1. Bonds & Fixed Income

    What Are Corporate Actions?

    Be a savvy investor - learn how corporate actions affect you as a shareholder.
  2. Personal Finance

    Antitrust Defined

    Check out the history and reasons behind antitrust laws, as well as the arguments over them.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Small-Cap Growth

    Take a close look at the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF, which focuses on domestic small-cap equities with a fundamental growth strategy.
  4. Investing

    Sergey Brin Biography

    Sergey Brin is an American computer scientist and businessman, who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google, which is among the most profitable internet companies in the world.
  5. Investing

    Blockchain Technology To Revolutionize Traditional Banking

    Blockchain technology is being taken seriously by the financial sector as it may prove to be a great disrupter to the traditional banking industry.
  6. Economics

    The Problem With Today’s Headline Economic Data

    Headwinds have kept the U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest GDP revisions prove it.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap

    Learn about the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap exchange-traded fund, which invests in small-cap firms traded at the emerging equity markets.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Morningstar Small-Cap Value

    Find out about the Shares Morningstar Small-Cap Value ETF, and learn detailed information about this exchange-traded fund that focuses on small-cap equities.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum

    Find out about the PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio ETF, and explore detailed analysis the fund's characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  10. Investing

    The European Effect on Google's Bottom Line

    The EU is turning up the heat on Google. What effect will it have on the company's bottom line?
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why was Microsoft subject to antitrust charges in 1998?

    On May 18, 1998, the Department of Justice filed antitrust charges against Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT ). The charges were brought ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the most important equity market indexes?

    The most important equity market indexes are the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000. These indexes in total provide ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is considered a good turnover ratio for a mutual fund?

    What is considered a good turnover ratio for a mutual fund depends on the fund's composition and structure, its stated investment ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is it more beneficial to invest in a blue chip stock or a penny stock?

    Penny and blue-chip are terms used to describe a stock's valuations and statures. Penny stocks are generally the stocks of ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a penny stock and a small cap stock?

    A penny stock and a small-cap stock represent the shares of a company with low market capitalizations. However, there is ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I tell whether a particular small cap stock has a positive investment outlook?

    The investment outlook for a small-cap stock is determined by operational outlook and current stock price. The operational ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  2. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  3. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  4. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  5. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  6. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!