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.

#71 This is so familiar to me

by rafaelrc

Monday June 2nd, 2003 4:17 PM

You are replying to this message

If this was the first time I listen to people declaring "the death of Netscape", I would be really worried. I am though, since I've seen AOL Time Warner making a lot of nonsense decisions all along (let's not talk about booting Skip Caray off the TBS booth...) But honestly, I've heard so many times about the death of Netscape, it doesn't really make me fear the worst. I am no techie, I am just a regular user. I don't make builds, I don't tinker with any code. And certainly, at the height of the browser wars I wasn't a Netscape fan (I thought IE 4.0 was the best). Some years, computer magazines, CDs, downloads and using all major browsers to the point of exhaustion, I consider Mozilla/Netscape/Mozilla Firebird the best out there. It has made me more aware of the open source movement. It has encouraged me to look for alternatives to Microsoft (, linux). I have told some of my friends about Netscape 7.02 and they changed to it and all I get is positive feedback. I really hope mozilla doesn't fade into the sunset, I think it's starting to gain momentum and Microsoft's decision of making IE SP1 the last standalone IE release should be seen as an opportunity for all mozilla people. Many people out there doesn't know there's a choice, an alternative. But the word is slowly but steadily spreading. So, all in all, I will be worried only when I see that press release saying "no more Netscape browsers". And the only one I've read about "no more browsers" so far it's Microsoft's.