decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books


Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

You won't find me on Facebook


Donate Paypal

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M
Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:34 AM EST

Heavens to Betsy. I saw a comment saying this had happened, and I thought it was a troll, trying to boost somebody's stock. But it's true. Novell has settled a potential antitrust action against Microsoft for $536 million and will be filing a second antitrust action regarding alleged harm to Novell's WordPerfect application software business in the '90s. Evidently they couldn't agree on terms on the second claim. The soon-to-be-filed lawsuit is based on "facts proved by the United States Government in its successful antitrust case against Microsoft," Novell says. And you thought the antitrust trial was a flop. Here's a bit of the Novell press release.


Novell Settles One Antitrust Claim with Microsoft for $536 Million, Plans to File Suit on Second Claim

Novell and Microsoft settle potential lawsuit related to Novell's NetWare operating system for $536 million

Novell announces it will file antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft related to WordPerfect claims

WALTHAM, Mass. — Nov. 08, 2004 — Novell today announced an agreement with Microsoft to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's NetWare operating system in exchange for $536 million in cash. Novell also announced that by the end of this week it will file an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the United States District Court in Utah seeking unspecified damages in connection with alleged harm to Novell’s WordPerfect application software business in the mid-1990s.

Under terms of the settlement, in exchange for the cash payment, Novell has agreed to a general release of claims that it has as of the date of the agreement, with certain exclusions that include patent claims and claims associated with Novell's WordPerfect business. The agreement also includes a release by Microsoft of claims that would have been compulsory counterclaims to the NetWare claims asserted by Novell. Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission’s case with Microsoft.

“We are pleased that we have been able to resolve a portion of our pending legal issues with Microsoft,” said Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., Novell's senior vice president and general counsel. “This is a significant settlement, particularly since we were able to achieve our objectives without filing expensive litigation. While we have agreed to withdraw from the EU case, we think our involvement there has been useful, as it has assisted the European proceedings and facilitated a favorable settlement with Microsoft. With the EU case now on appeal, we are comfortable with our decision to withdraw from the proceeding. There is simply not much left for us to do.

“We regret that we cannot make a similar announcement regarding our antitrust claims associated with the WordPerfect business. We have had extensive discussions with Microsoft to resolve our differences, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to agree on acceptable terms. We intend to pursue our claims aggressively toward a goal of recovering fair and considerable value for the harm caused to Novell's business,” LaSala said.

The WordPerfect suit that Novell will file seeks unspecified damages arising from Microsoft's efforts to eliminate competition in the office productivity applications market during the time that Novell owned the WordPerfect word-processing application and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application. The suit is based in part on facts proved by the United States Government in its successful antitrust case against Microsoft. In that suit, Microsoft was found to have unlawfully maintained a monopoly in the market for personal computer operating systems by eliminating competition in related markets.


Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M | 219 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:51 AM EST
Does that need Corel will file a suit also?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:58 AM EST
Finally, Novell has agreed to withdraw its intervention in the European Commission’s case with Microsoft.

Any idea what that means?

What did Microsoft buy? :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:59 AM EST
Consider the harm that befell Novell concerning this action - 1/2 billion is
peanuts. No idea why Novell would settle for such a small amount. Think about
server software sales over the last 20 years and you do the math.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What a business Plan ;-)
Authored by: ricketts30 on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:59 AM EST
  1. Get money from Microsoft for small Anti-trust settlement
  2. Use money to launch HUGE anit-trust case against Microsoft
  3. Goto 1

Why is the new case huge?

Well Microsoft gave Internet Explorer away for free but Word/Excel has always been a big cash earner for them.

The downside for Windows users (if this case is sucessful) is likely to be a price hike somewhere along the road.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT and links here
Authored by: PolR on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:20 AM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

I guess Active Directory won't get pulled then.
Authored by: stormkrow on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:44 AM EST
After all Active Directory wouldn't exist if it weren't for Novell and M$
stealing their design. Why would any IT manager use AD for domain control
anyways? I have no idea. M$ and domain control is like trees in a forest thats
been set on fire. I really hoped Novell would have gone all the way with that
lawsuit; $536M is chump change compared to forcing every M$ customer to
re-license under Novell for permission to use their domain. Could have been very
interesting. Oh well; hopefully we'll see more in round 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:50 AM EST
Hey, PJ, can you comment on the fact that Novell is withdrawing its intervention
in the European Commission anti-trust case? That seems to be the real news here;
Microsoft had been tying up a bunch of loose ends with settlement money for a
while, but making the other side withdraw from the ECC case is a relatively new
development and a pretty huge major deal I would think.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Everybody has a price tag
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:54 AM EST
So far:

SCO ~ $50M
SUN ~ $2000M
Novell ~ $500M

Wonder who else is on Microsoft's "shopping list" ?
At the end MS may end up extending its monopoly from the
desktop to the whole IT industry by paying off all other
companies. Can you say sock-puppets? Or Stock-puppets ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:00 PM EST
A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Keep on dreaming?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:13 PM EST
I say, use ALL of that money for supporting Open Source development.

Well, maybe I *am* dreaming... would be the perfect remedy IMO though

[ Reply to This | # ]

still think anti trust action was a flop
Authored by: ajrs on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:23 PM EST
I don't see how this improves things except for Novell
sharehlders. I also don't see much change in Microsoft's

[ Reply to This | # ]

Old software
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:35 PM EST
I recently installed some old software versions WP 5.0-7.0, MS Word 2.0, 6.0
etc. for some compatibility testing.

A reminder of the bug city of WP releases at that time. The MS product was much
more solid in that 93-96 timeframe - I well remember users switching from WP to
MS Word over the period for that very reason and my own recollection is the lack
of focus on QA from WordPerfect was the main issue, rather than MS bundling
deals etc.

On a positive note, WP did become more stable and I had no problems with WP 12
in my testing scenario (unlike OpenOffice 1.1!).

No doubt the lawyers will ignore these irrelevant factors like useability and
reliability and seek out the conspiracy theories.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let The Novell Bashing Begin
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 03:01 PM EST
When Sun settled out of court for $2billion (some cash, some stock, some IP
transfers) everybody on Groklaw was saying how Microsoft and Sun were teaming up
to destroy Linux.

Well, are we going to be consistent and do the same now that Novell has also
settled out of court with Microsoft? This is all part of some conspiracy against
Linux, right?

Also Novell has just released their Novell Desktop. It's the same Suse
derivative that Sun has been selling. So we can recycle all the same complaints
we levelled against Sun.

Let the Novell bashing begin!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell not selling out to MS folks.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 03:10 PM EST
Old Noveller talking here…

Let’s get one thing straight right now. Novell will never, and has never, lose
it’s hatred of Microsoft. Yes, hatred is right word to use there too. Novell
as an institution (not the business) hates MS, and will never forgive or forget
what was done in regards to them ripping off AD, networking and all the other
things MS borrowed from Novell, which was a heck of a lot.

500 mil is not a price tag to Novell, it is just a little blood money, and the
old timers will glad to have it. My sources say that the reason WP was not
dropped is that MS is counting on Office deployments in the EU as a major cash
cow. Novell knows this, and so if you can get half a billion to fund the fight
in the arena you want and distract your competition in the arena they are trying
to get a better slice in, well, that is good trade.

Sellout, I can’t and don’t see it folks. This is a win for the good guys, in
that Novell has spun a minor distraction into additional cash at a time when
they could use every dime to get traction in the market.

-Bubba the Barbarian

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS - CAREFUL ON THIS ONE
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 03:23 PM EST
Dear Novell, DO NOT settle for something that will strengthen Microsoft's
position, particularily in regards to Open Office and Star Office. DO NOT let
them get away with a PATENT TRUMP CARD. It is not worth any amount of money to
find out later that the way was paved for them to strengthen their patent
position and walk away with patents that apply to Linux.

I hope you follow the gist of this.

signed, A linux lover.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell To File AntiTrust Action Against MS & Settles Another for $536M
Authored by: geoff lane on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 05:14 PM EST
I don't understand these settlements, $2B to Sun, $500M to Novell and a number of others such as the bizarre settlement with Linspire when MS were suing but paid Michael Robertson a large amount of money to end the case.

You can buy a whole lot of politicianslegal advice for $500M yet MS prefers to settle but doesn't insist on a clean break leaving Novell to continue on a different tack. This is very strange.

Now I'm not a monopoly company with shareholders to please, but it seems to me that the only reasons to settle are, it's cheaper than continuing, your lawyers tell you the odds of winning are bad or there is stuff you don't want to admit to in court.

There is one more possibility, if a case ever gets to a jury, where does Microsoft find jury members that don't hate Microsoft because their PC has viruses, worms and spyware?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Anti Trust Ruling.
Authored by: Brian S. on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 07:07 PM EST
>>you thought the antitrust trial was a flop. Here's a bit of the Novell
press release.<<

Sorry PJ and anyone else who may take offence. The Antitrust decision was
reached nearly 10 years ago.

In between time, countless people, organisations and companies have succombed to
the verdict.

The written law is as slow as an ass, and much as I may believe in the fact that
law is right to govern peoples behaviour - IT DOESN'T.

Don't justify failure

The law is under the control of the people with power.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe SCO should have sued Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 07:23 PM EST

Microsoft has been settling their lawsuits and paying large amounts of cash to
do so. Maybe SCO is regretting not suing Microsoft (again) instead of IBM. I
think there is still time for them to realize their folly and take corrective
action. They have milked money from Microsoft before and they can do it again.

OK I was only kidding but now that I think about it I think there is an
interesting way for Microsoft to pass some cash to SCO.

Darl: Bill, you looked at me kinda funny. I see a sexual harrasment case on
the horizon.
Bill: Pardon me. Here is $500 mil. I know it would not undo the damage but it
might help you sleep better at night.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell launches website to defend open source software...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 08:57 PM EST
go here: clickme

[ Reply to This | # ]

more on the settlement
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 09:46 PM EST
Article on the settlement link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did microsoft buy some novell?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:20 PM EST
some one I was talking to said the following ... Is any of it true ?
--quote from friend--
This is just a plot to shift funds from one pocket to the other. About a year
and a half ago, Microsoft purchased 51% of Novell so that it could absorb the
technology into it's active directory. "Wild Bill" is just using the
courts to his advantage.... Move a large sum of money from one company to
another without having to pay penalty to the government, and because it's a
judgment by the court, it would then become a tax right off! This of course is
just my opinion!

[ Reply to This | # ]

$536M: Interesting Timing
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2004 @ 12:26 AM EST
No one is concerned that this happened a day after it's anounced that Stone has resigned?

Open-source advocate Chris Stone leaves Novell

Or maybe I am just to paranoid.

--nefertiti (who has again forgotten her pwd)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Analysis of Judge Jacksons Findings of Fact
Authored by: papafox on Tuesday, November 09 2004 @ 01:38 AM EST

#include IANAL

Here is an analysis of the findings of fact made by Judge Jackson.  My understanding is that findings of fact are not appealable, so that law-suits based on them are a lay-down misere.

[ Reply to This | # ]

FSFE/SAMBA statement
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 10 2004 @ 08:20 AM EST
Here is an interesting statement by the Free Software Foundation Europe in
collaboration with the Samba team, which it cooperates with on the European
Court case about the issue:


Microsoft has steadily been soliciting supporters of the European
Commission antitrust case to withdraw their support for the Commission
by offering a series of financial settlements. The agreement with Sun
Microsystems to withdraw has now been joined by financial settlements
with Novell and the CCIA, in which they also agreed to withdraw from the

In light of these developments, the Free Software Foundation Europe
(FSFE) reaffirms its determination to support the European Commission in
the landmark antitrust case, in which a decision is expected soon.

The list of supporters of the European Commission may be getting
shorter, but the FSFE and Software & Information Industry Association
(SIIA) are still participating in the case, and fighting on behalf of
European consumers. The FSFE's commitment to the case and its support of
the Commission is not undermined by the recent developments.

"There is not enough money in the world to buy our withdrawal from this
case. My client did not join this case in mere self-interest. Our goal
is to help the Commission restore some of the freedoms of the market and
restore the competition that was lost in previous years", explains Carlo
Piana, who represents the FSFE in this case.

"We believe that in cooperation with the SAMBA team we have done a
very good job so far and we will continue our effort for the sake of
those who are apparently all too easily forgotten -- the Free Software
developers and European customers.", adds Georg Greve, president of the
Free Software Foundation Europe.

Georg Greve points out: "We are financed purely by donations, and are
engaged in this struggle as we believe this is the right thing to do for
our supporters and for Europe. We will not give up this fight."

"For the Samba Team, this case is about leveling the playing field, and
encouraging Microsoft to use Royalty-free Open Public Standards in its
products" said Volker Lendecke & John Terpstra of the Samba Team.
fully support the FSFE and the European Commission in this case, and
will continue to provide direct evidence of how Microsoft has used its
monopoly to obstruct software interoperability and damage the
competitive landscape in Europe."


[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )