Microsoft Pays Netscape $750 Million to Settle Antitrust Suit
Thursday May 29th, 2003
Several people wrote in to tell us that Microsoft has agreed to settle the private antitrust suit filed against it by Netscape Communications Corporation last year. Microsoft will pay AOL Time Warner, Netscape's parent company, $750 million to end the litigation. In a related agreement, Microsoft will give AOL a seven-year royalty-free license to use Internet Explorer and a long-term license to use its Windows Media 9 Series technology. The two giants have also agreed to work together on digital media initiatives and establish interoperability between the AOL Instant Messenger and MSN/Windows Messenger networks. In addition, Microsoft will give AOL more technical information about Windows and help AOL to distribute its software to some PC vendors.
CNN/Money, CNET News.com and Bloomberg.com all have articles about the settlement. More details are available in Microsoft and AOL Time Warner's joint press release.
Update! Further reports are available from Slashdot, MSNBC, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, InternetNews, ENT News, EE Times and the Associated Press (via InformationWeek). Meanwhile, CNET News.com asks if the IE licensing deal means the end of Netscape.
Another Update! CNET News.com now has an entire special coverage section on the deal, which includes a longer updated main article. The Bloomberg.com report has also been revised and other stories can be found at Wired News, BetaNews and Reuters.
Another Update! Microsoft's PressPass site has a transcript of a press conference call with Microsoft's Bill Gates and AOL Time Warner's Richard Parsons, which has been extensively referred to by many media reports. A collection of soundbites from Bill Gates is also available.
Another Update! Matt Kraai writes: "Salon is carrying an article on the Microsoft/AOL TW settlement and its effect on Mozilla. I found it via Boing Boing." To read the article, you'll either have to subscribe to Salon Premium or view a short ad, which will give you access to Salon for the day.
Thursday May 29th, 2003 8:03 PM
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It would have been nice if this agreement happened years ago, when Netscape was a corporation itself and needed resources to improve its browser. Now that Microsoft has won, the loss of money is a relatively small setback for them. They will gain the money back with their monopolistic/satanic tactics.
America Online should have settled for something better than the use of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. These are things Microsoft wants. Now AOL is helping Microsoft defeat RealNetworks. I wonder if AOL's choice to abandon its agreement with RealNetworks was due to the promise of a monetary reward from Microsoft.