Chart of the week: Microsoft’s metamorphosis

Bouncing back from antitrust 

Like transformative technologies of the past, US tech giants are moving on from fresh-faced innovators to overgrown hulk. Tell-tale wrinkles appeared back in May amid reports that US antitrust bodies would be investigating them. Back in the nineties, Microsoft continually clashed with the government before eventually agreeing in 2001 to be more open with its software and coding in return for remaining intact as a business. It languished in the doldrums for a decade before re-emerging to re-join the ranks of the tech titans. Further back in history, the breakup of Standard Oil showed that the sum of the parts can be worth more than the whole. ‘Time to break up?’, a chapter in our latest InvestmentInsights, considers what might happen to America’s tech giants under the glare of the antitrust spotlight.

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