Yesterday, Microsoft settled its antitrust lawsuit with Bristol, ending a 2 1/2-year-old battle between the two companies. The settlement, which involves a confidential agreement and prejudicial dismissal of all claims, comes on the heels of one of the more bizarre legal sagas in Microsoft's history. After a jury found in Microsoft's favor on virtually every claim, the jury awarded Bristol one remaining claim, based on Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act. Since then, the Federal District Court awarded Bristol $1 million in punitive damages to cover attorney fees and other relief.
"Bristol is very pleased with the conclusion of this litigation," says Bristol CEO Keith Blackwell. "This settlement is great news for the industry and Bristol because it lets Bristol focus our time and resources on what we do best: developing excellent software and providing world-class service."
"We are pleased to reach this agreement in order to put this matter behind us once and for all," says Dan Neault, who heads Microsoft's business development for the platforms group. "Microsoft always prefers to focus our time and efforts on listening to customers and developing great software, and this settlement will help us do that."
The Microsoft/Bristol suit involved Bristol's Wind/U developer tool, which relies on Windows source code. Wind/U lets developers create applications that can interoperate between Windows and various UNIX OSs. The court eventually found that Microsoft had promised Bristol upcoming versions of Windows source code, only to deny Bristol access when those versions became available.