Microsoft to pay RealNetworks $761 million antitrust lawsuit settlement

“RealNetworks Inc. says it has settled an antitrust lawsuit against its its longtime adversary Microsoft Corp. in a deal valued at $761 million. RealNetworks sued Microsoft in December 2003, accusing the software giant of illegally forcing Windows users to accept Microsoft’s digital media player. RealNetworks said its player suffered as a result,” Allison Linn reports for The Associated Press.

Linn reports, “A settlement in the works would cost Microsoft $750 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unidentified sources. It was unclear how much of that would be in cash; the Journal said that Microsoft would work to promote RealNetworks’ music and game services and that the companies would collaborate on technology initiatives. RealNetworks, based in Seattle, has for years been one of Redmond-based Microsoft’s direct competitors in the growing field of digital music and video. But the smaller company has struggled in the face of its massive rival. Both companies also have recently been finding it tough to compete against iTunes and iPod maker Apple Computer Inc.”

Full article here.

“Under the deal, Microsoft will pay $460 million in cash to RealNetworks to settle antitrust claims. It will also pay $301 million in cash to support Real’s music and games efforts and Microsoft will promote Real’s Rhapsody subscription music service on MSN. Microsoft can earn credits toward that $301 million by signing up subscribers via MSN,” Ina Fried reports for CNET.

Full article here.
We swear we just heard someone shout the order, “Krispy Kremes for the house!” This is great. Now the porcine Rob Glaser can join forces with Microsoft and they can console each other while Apple continues administering their ass-kicking in unison.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Rob Glaser photo caption contest now open – June 30, 2005
Real CEO Glaser calls Apple ‘deceptive’ with iTunes Music Store – March 07, 2005
Real CEO pitches to half empty room at tech symposium; Apple draws standing-room-only crowd – February 25, 2005
RealNetworks’ CEO Rob Glaser grabs 3 of top 10 spots on ‘Dumbest Moments in Business 2005’ list – January 31, 2005
Bono-Glaser photo caption contest now open – October 25, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: ‘Harmony’ hack legal, Mac lovers are very sensitive to Apple criticism, and more – September 14, 2004
Analyst: Rob Glaser’s ill-advised war against Apple ‘is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass’ – August 30, 2004
RealNetwork’s CEO Glaser crashes Apple’s music party – July 30, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: Steve Jobs’ comments on Real ‘not succeeding’ are ‘ridiculously humorous’ – April 29, 2004
NY Times: Real CEO Glaser was close to having ‘iPod’ before Apple, but let it ‘slip through his fingers – April 24, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: Apple’s iPod/iTunes combo ‘threatens to turn off consumers’ – April 20, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: go pound sand – April 16, 2004
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: ‘iTunes is only going to be used for playing songs you bought using the iTunes store – January 16, 2004


  1. At the risk of sounding ignorant, isn’t it conceivable that RealSh#tworks could turn around and sue Apple for its vast marketshare and how it hurt (and continues to hurt) RealSh#tworks?

    Please, please, please take it easy on me…..I’m typing this from my Emachine computer at work….

  2. I guess what I am trying to figure out is that Windows offers its own media player (just like Apple does w/ iTunes), but you can get any number of media players out there for free (like iTunes, or Real, or…whatever…). It seems like Real could sue Apple because it “forces” (I’m saying this tongue and cheek) iTunes on all OSX customers…

  3. I’ve always wondered what it would look like to put Rob Glaser and Steve Ballmer in an arena, with only one Krispie Kreme in the middle, and let em fight it out for a while.

    Then again, I don’t think I want to see something like that.

  4. So, does the settlement actually include MS having to change any of the behavior that started the lawsuit in the first place? If not, then it’s just legal extortion. I guess Glaser’s brain just went fuzzy when he realized how many Krispy Kremes he could buy with all that loot. I wish all these people would quit settling with MS for cash (or worse, product vouchers – that one really gets me!) and actually not settle for anything other than justice.

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