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.

#47 Re: Parsons NOT disbanding Netscape!!!

by tny

Friday May 30th, 2003 2:24 PM

You are replying to this message

It said they're not disbanding the Netscape division. Did it say anything about Netscape the Browser? Understand this: what is in the best interests of AOL/TW and what is in the best interests of Mozilla intersects, if at all, on in a few places; and AOL/TW's management will do what is best for AOL/TW's stockholders, not what's best for the Mozilla community.

Predictions: AOL for Windows will continue to be based upon IE for 9.0 and 10.0 . AOL for OS X will continue to be based on Gecko. Netscape the Corporation will continue to move its resources toward the portal strategy that has failed them lo these many years, because AOL/TW management is media-oriented and don't see the point in having a software client except as a way to move eyeballs to their content. Netscape the Browser, at least on Windows, will die the death of a thousand cuts as resources are shifted to Mozilla for OS X or other non-Mozilla projects. Eventually, the AOL client on OS X will adopt Webcore, Netscape will stop releasing new browsers (a return to the eternal 4.7xxx days) and Mozilla will become defacto a RedHat/IBM project. I'd be happy to be demonstrated wrong, but that's my immediate thought.