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April 12, 2005

What If Bush's Justice Department Hadn't Taken a Dive...

Even with the Bush Justice Department's taking a dive in the case, the payouts that Microsoft is making to settle the claims produced by its antitrust law violations aren't chicken feed:

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/3146e1a8-aa8c-11d9-98d7-00000e2511c8,_i_rssPage=80fdaff6-cbe5-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html Financial Times: Microsoft to pay Gateway $150m: Payments by Microsoft to escape its antitrust morass are expected to top $4.5bn. This follows news on Monday that the software group will pay $150m to Gateway, the PC maker, and set aside another $550m against other legal claims... a $43m charge for a settlement last month with Burst.com... in a pre-tax charge to earnings in the latest quarter of more than $700m, Microsoft indicated. The Gateway settlement takes to six the number of companies in the industry with which Microsoft has reached private agreements, at a combined cost of more than $2.2bn. It has also incurred costs of more than $1.2bn to settle state-level anti-trust suits in the US and paid a fine of about $600m to the European Commission. In addition, Microsoft has paid more than $2bn to settle patent disputes in the past year....

The new provision against future costs suggests other big payments still lie ahead.... Among the biggest are a private case brought by RealNetworks.... Like Novell, a technology company which received $536m in a settlement last year, Gateway has never filed a suit against Microsoft.... Gateway has agreed to forgo any legal claim in return for $150m over four years, the two sides said...

Posted by DeLong at April 12, 2005 12:00 PM