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Microsoft To Pay $536 Million In Novell Anti-trust Settlement

By Agence France-Presse Microsoft said it would pay a settlement of $536 million to Novell to resolve an anti-trust dispute between the software companies involving Novell's NetWare operating system. Novell agreed to end its claims over Microsoft's harm to NetWare -- a system used for servers -- and also withdraw from participation in the European Commission's case with Microsoft. However, the companies were unable to reach an agreement regarding anti-trust claims related to the WordPerfect word processing program, which Novell owned from June 1994 to March 1996. Novell said it will file an antitrust suit against Microsoft in U.S. federal court in Utah seeking unspecified damages in connection with alleged harm to Novell's WordPerfect software in the mid-1990s. "Novell retains the right to pursue those claims," it said in a statement. "In addition, both parties retain the right to pursue past or future patent claims." Microsoft updated its previously reported results for the first quarter to reflect the impact of the settlement, saying it earned $2.53 billion, or 23 cents per share, in the quarter, including a charge of $359 million, which represents the after-tax cost to Microsoft. Separately, Microsoft said it had reached an agreement to settle its anti-trust differences with the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a trade group backed by many Microsoft rivals. A joint statement said Microsoft and the CCIA reached "an agreement to resolve several outstanding issues on which they have been on opposite sides, in some cases for several years, and to work together on important and pressing technology issues facing the high-tech industry." Under the deal, Microsoft will compensate CCIA for certain legal expenditures and become a member of the group, providing "substantial institutional support" for the organization. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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