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.

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  1. Sorry, didn’t read the article or responses, the headline just SCREAMED for a knee-jerk response, so here goes.

    Great, just great, How nice for MS that they get to legally fund someone to draw attention away from Apple and fairplay. They “settle” for 761mil. That should keep real around for another 2 years rather than letting them just die in 6 months. So what will happen in those 2 years? Maybe 2 more versions of Harmony’s fairplay DRM crack? Maybe some “we’re giving away songs for .39 promos? A new subscription service, wow that would be original. The only think for sure is doughnut boy has enough pocket change for a couple of years worth of Krusty Creme runs.

    Apple, iTMS, and iPod won’t blink, real is so far behind they can’t even see Apple’s taillights anymore

  2. I work for Real Networks.

    So I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies.

    Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about.

    But trust me…. You don’t.

    I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you dont know what you are talking about.

    This is how bad info gets passed around.

    If you dont know about the topic….Dont make yourself sound like you do.

    Cuz some Macheads believe anything they hear.

  3. Let’s see…

    Real Networks says Microsoft sucks and they’re crooked.
    Microsoft says Real Networks sucks and they’re whiners.

    I don’t see what they’re arguing about…

    Looks like they’re both right.


    MW: justice (these can’t be random)

  4. Good take MDN, love the “ass-kicking in unison”.

    If you add up all the fines and compenstation payments that Microsoft have had to pay over theb years it surely tells you one that they’re a lying, cheating, nasty organisation… Why ARE they allowed to still be in business?

    Common Apple and Open Office…clean up will you.

  5. Just saw Glaser on Cavuto (Fox), and he said he was going to Disneyland. Woohoo! Seriously though, Cavuto was kicking his ass about being in bed with Microsoft now, and Glaser was like “where is my Krispy Cream…”

  6. the most bothersome thing about this ceasefire and subsequent unholy union is that it keeps Rhapsody alive and helps M$ in their attempt to gain traction in music downloads and getting their DRM into as many computers as possible…. Windows computers, that is. it’s something to keep watch on in the coming months.

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