RealNetworks settles antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft

Tuesday, October 11th 2005, 12:48 pm
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) _ RealNetworks Inc. announced a legal settlement Tuesday with longtime adversary Microsoft Corp., ending the last major antitrust case against the world's largest software maker.

The digital media services company said three deals with a combined value of $761 million include the formation of a music and games partnership with Microsoft and resolution of all the companies' antitrust disputes worldwide.

``Today we're closing one chapter and opening a new one in our relationship with Microsoft,'' Rob Glaser, RealNetworks' founder and CEO, said in a statement released before a joint news conference.

Seattle-based RealNetworks sued Microsoft in December 2003, accusing the world's largest software maker of illegally forcing Windows users to accept Microsoft's digital media player. RealNetworks said its player suffered as a result.

RealNetworks, whose media players distribute audio and video to devices ranging from computers to smart phones, had been the last big commercial opponent in a European Union antitrust case against Microsoft.

In that case, Microsoft was ordered to produce a version of its Windows operating system stripped of its own multimedia player to provide a more level playing field for competitors led by RealNetworks.

Microsoft is complying with the ruling while appealing it.