Pyrrhic Victory


DEFINITION of 'Pyrrhic Victory'

A victory or success that comes at the expense of great losses or costs. In business, examples of such a victory could be succeeding at a hostile takeover bid or winning a lengthy and expensive lawsuit.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pyrrhic Victory'

In 2001, Microsoft won a Pyrrhic victory in its antitrust case when the Appeals Court decided the software giant was not to be broken up. However, Microsoft was still branded a monopoly and was subject to other punishment.

The expression alludes to the Greek King Pyrrhus who, after defeating the Romans in battle, stated: "If we win another such battle against the Romans, we will be completely lost."

  1. Baby Bills

    A hypothetical nickname for the smaller companies that would ...
  2. Antitrust

    The antitrust laws apply to virtually all industries and to every ...
  3. Hostile Takeover

    The acquisition of one company (called the target company) by ...
  4. Monopoly

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly ...
  5. Crowding Out Effect

    An economic theory stipulating that rises in public sector spending ...
  6. Sticky Wage Theory

    An economic hypothesis theorizing that pay of employees tends ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    How You Make Money In Real Estate

    If you're interested in the real estate game, make sure you know what factors will affect whether you make money or not.
  2. Personal Finance

    Antitrust Defined

    Check out the history and reasons behind antitrust laws, as well as the arguments over them.
  3. Personal Finance

    Litigation: Are Your Investments At Risk?

    Don't let company lawsuits hit you unprepared. Learn how to uncover how they might affect you.
  4. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  5. Economics

    Explaining Fair Market Value

    Fair market value is the price at which a buyer and seller are willing to exchange a good.
  6. Economics

    Understanding Production Efficiency

    Production efficiency is the point at which an economy cannot increase output of a good or service without lowering the production of another product.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Silo Mentality

    A silo mentality occurs when certain departments in an organization do not share information or knowledge with other departments.
  8. Economics

    5 Steps of a Bubble

    In the financial sense, a bubble refers to a situation where the price of an asset far exceeds its fundamental value.
  9. Economics

    What Does Short Run Mean?

    Short run is the concept that for a business, at least one factor of production is fixed while others are variable.
  10. Investing

    Did the Fed Miss its Window to Raise Rates?

    The debate in the media over whether the Federal Reserve will announce liftoff this month or in December continues to rage on.
  1. What was the Mahonia company and why did it become the subject of a lawsuit?

    In 1992, J.P.Morgan went into the energy trading business by creating a venture company called Mahonia Limited. At least, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some examples of Apple and Google's best-selling product lines?

    There are many good examples of product lines in the technology sector from some of the largest companies in the world, such ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a negative write-off?

    A negative write-off is a write-off conducted by a company or accountant after deciding not to pay back an individual or ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
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!