Microsoft Settles Lawsuit With Netscape For $750 Million
Even $750 Million won’t help Netscape not suck
Microsoft to pay AOL $750M
Microsoft will pay $750 million to AOL Time Warner to settle an antitrust lawsuit filed by AOL on behalf of its subsidiary Netscape last year, the companies said Thursday.
The two companies also set a seven-year licensing agreement that allows AOL Time Warner to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsing technology in its flagship Internet service provider service without having to pay royalties. AOL Time Warner is the parent of CNN/Money.
The settlement is part of what appears to be a series of new collaborations between the two companies, which have been bitter rivals in recent years.
Microsoft and AOL said, for example, that they will work together to make their AOL and MSN instant messaging services work more smoothly together, and that they agreed to fight digital piracy and come up with ways for Internet users to legally download copyrighted content.
“While our companies will continue to compete, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to resolve our prior dispute, and I’m excited about the opportunity to work together collaboratively to make the digital decade a reality,” Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said in a statement.
The world’s largest media company and Microsoft, the biggest software maker, have squared off on several fronts in recent years. New York-based AOL Time Warner sued Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft in January 2002, alleging Microsoft had competed unfairly to cripple AOL’s once-dominant Netscape browser.
“Our agreement to work together on digital media initiatives marks an important step forward in better serving consumers and protecting the interests of all content businesses,” AOL Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons said in the statement. “We look forward to others in the media and entertainment industries joining together with us to help to advance the digital distribution of content to consumers while maintaining copyright protection.”