AfterDawn: Tech news

RealNetworks gets $761m from Microsoft

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Oct 2005 22:03 User comments (8)

RealNetworks gets $761m from Microsoft RealNetworks is to receive a $761m settlement from software rival Microsoft to end an anti-competition lawsuit over software music players. RealNetworks originally had accused Microsoft of forcing PC makers to bundle Windows Media Player software at the expense of Real Player software. Now the settlement from Microsoft brings that case to the end and both sides have said it has paved the way for future collaboration between the two.
"Today we're closing one chapter and opening a new one in our relationship with Microsoft," said RealNetworks' founder and chief executive Rob Glaser. "The legal chapter is being closed with an appropriate and fair outcome that sets the stage for a very productive and collaborative relationship between our companies." Along with the huge settlement, Real also now gets long-term access to Microsoft technologies that will help improve the Real Player software and Microsoft also agreed to promote Real's music and games subscription service.

Microsoft has been hit by many similar lawsuits over the years. The company paid IBM $775m to settle a case back in July, and has earlier reach anti-competition agreements with the U.S. Government, Sun Microsystems and Time Warner. The company also has another on-going dispute with the European Union. In March last year, Microsoft was fined $579m for anti-competition practices by the EU.

The company was also ordered to share code with rivals and offer stripped down versions of the Windows software. Microsoft is appealing certain aspects of the EU's finding.

BBC News

Previous Next  

8 user comments

112.10.2005 8:40

does it really suprise anyone that microsoft is participating in anti-competition practices? less competition means more billions for bill gates instead of sharing the billion with other people.

212.10.2005 9:54

Im stunned. If anyone who doesnt like Microsoft would all of a sudden own a company that big and powerful you's try to do the same thing. It is easy for us to bitch about a company because we wish we had that kind of money. Yes Microsoft might have done some questionable things in the past but then again most of us still shop at Walmart. Walmart is by far much more evil that Microsoft. Microsoft and Mr. Gates were in the right place at the right time, and business is survival of the fittest. I dont want to see a bully beating on people all over the world but it is so much easier for people to bitch about you when you have what most people want. I think Microsoft is a great company and more power to them if they continue to think of things before you! But then again that is just my two cents...

312.10.2005 10:55

microsoft thinking of something first? When did this happen? They beat someone to the patent office a little over 20 years ago and we all know who that was. I remember the first home pc I ever used, it was not a microsoft.

412.10.2005 11:10

Yeah well then I guess they thought to leave the meeting first;) Im not talking about the PC or the OS but the way they anticipated the growth of the home computer market. Im a mac fan, but I like my pc too. I know that Jobs deserves more credit than given but Microsoft is a razor smart company with great talent. and it seems they can kick ass in a foot race too.

512.10.2005 17:56

I don't know if anyone picked up on this yet, but they're collaborating with Real! Real!! Of all the companies, they had to go with that one. Like we don't get enough spyware from each seperatly. I used to like Real, but they have proven, to me, to be very unreliable, and if this in any way has an effect on their products, it's not really going to improve them.

615.10.2005 6:33

I for one do NOT agree with the lawsuits filed against Microsoft for Anti-competition... I think these other companies are just whining ang get a large some of money doing so...It is not practical...period If you buy windows and you don't like certain programs..Use something else...I thought from the beginnging this lawsuit about WMP was purely stupid... Microsoft put programs of there design in windows..that what they do..There are all kinds of 3rd party programs available, if people want them they will download them...why should we be forced to have NON-Windows programs bundled with Windows? It would be like you buying a Chevy and Ford suing them for not giving you the option of having a Blue Oval on it instead of the Bowtie that belongs there... I think these 3rd party contries are just jelous that they weren't smart enough to get where bill gates is today...Heck we all are....Point is people buy his product for simple ease of function... What's next Nero to sue for not getting there stuff bundled....Please... We have these companies to thank for the higher prices that windows will cost us in the future...I am sure they will make up there loss from us...and that just stinks to high heaven.....DOC

729.10.2005 17:03

I don't have a problem with Microsoft using their defacto operating system monopoly (sorry, Mac and Linux users but your market share is still only 20%) to promote their own products but I do have a problem with them blackmailing PC vendors by threatening them with revoking their licenses to load their systems with Windows software if they load any competing media player, browser, ISP service, etc. before it ships! I understand Microsoft wanting to maintain the integrity of Windows by not allowing vendors to REPLACE their stuff with third-party stuff but why not allow the vendors to include more choices and let consumers decide to keep or uninstall? I prefer Netscape Navigatior to IE and Real Player to WMP and the first thing I do after loading the OS is go out to the 'net and grab those install programs and run them. What if you don't have a high-speed connection? Installing those programs could take HOURS! I don't think that Microsoft should be forced to include NN or AOL just because they feature IE or MSN as part of the OS and why do they have to allow access to their code and technologies, developed with their own talent and expense, to competitors and promote Real's Rhapsody and Arcade? Since when does a company have to pay a competitor's R & D and advertising costs? I might be old school but $2.115B sounds like a HUGE amount of money to me, even for a behemuth like Microsoft. Be careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!

829.10.2005 17:10

To dirkadirk: A product that Microsoft thought of first? How about MS-DOS 1.0? Bill Gates and Paul Allen developed it for IBM in the '70's but were smart enough to retain the patent rights and lease it to IBM and the rest is, as they say, HISTORY!

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive