Microsoft settles with Caldera

Microsoft Corp. and Caldera Systems Inc. yesterday settled a three-and-a-half-year antitrust feud over their competing versions of the PC Disk Operating System.

The companies didn't disclose the terms of the settlement, but Microsoft said in a statement that the settlement would reduce its quarterly earnings by 3 cents per share for the quarter ending March 31. With 5.16 billion Microsoft shares outstanding, a 3-cent-per-share impact would value the settlement at $154.8 million. Caldera sought $1.6 billion in the suit, which was slated to go to trial Feb. 1.

Caldera sued Microsoft in July 1996, charging it illegally tied Windows 95 to its MS-DOS operating system and created artificial incompatibilities between Windows and Caldera's version of DOS, known as DR-DOS. Caldera alleged that by bundling Windows 95 and MS-DOS, Microsoft forced consumers to choose its DOS.

Caldera's claim is similar to the government's claim that Microsoft tied its Internet Explorer browser to Windows in an effort to stamp out Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator browser.

Microsoft has denied wrongdoing in both cases but was unable to get the Caldera case dismissed.

The judge hearing the government's suit against Microsoft, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, issued a finding of fact Nov. 5, 1999, declaring that Microsoft had established a monopoly. Jackson has yet to file a ruling in the case.

Related information:

Caldera's in the money, Jan. 11, 2000

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Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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