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.
There is absolutely no indication that AOL-TW is going to drop the Mozilla Project. Out of a fraction of that $750 million in cash, the Project could be kept afloat for years. All this means is that AOL-TW has the option of using IE in its AOL client for the next 7 years--if it wants. Plus, AOL-TW gets a cross-marketing deal with MSN. Good for them. Whatever.
Notice what AOL-TW did not agree to. They did not agree to give up Mozilla. Thus, we're going to keep pouring it on.