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 and 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 asks if the IE licensing deal means the end of Netscape.

Another Update! CNET now has an entire special coverage section on the deal, which includes a longer updated main article. The 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.

#32 Sad to hear such defeatism!

by SmileyBen

Friday May 30th, 2003 4:34 AM

You are replying to this message

It's sad to hear such defeatism on this board. Don't you all realise that none of us are powerless in the question of whether AOL uses Gecko? We all have the power to make it so that AOL simply cannot afford to keep using IE in light of Gecko's superiority. Sure, Gecko is much better than IE's rendering engine now - all we need to do is making it so this is simply incontovertible.

Secondly, only the most negative of Open Sourcers would believe that AOL has a chance if it relies on Windows being dominant for the next SEVEN years. There are two possibilities: either Microsoft wins its DRM battles, etc, and successfully kills off Linux, BSD, OS X, or at some point in the next seven years a significant number of computer users will move away from the Win32 platform - either way relying on Windows is a dangerous business ploy.