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AOL and Microsoft Settle 750 Million Dollar Lawsuit - 2003-05-30

On Thursday, two high-tech titans settled an antitrust suit that will affect the way many of us use the Internet. VOA-TV’s Jim Bertel reports, former bitter rivals Microsoft and AOL Time Warner will work together on Internet technologies.

In a sweeping settlement, Microsoft will pay AOL Time Warner 750 million dollars to end a private antitrust lawsuit over web browser technology. Perhaps more significantly, the two companies agreed to collaborate on technology that could one day set the standard for how music and movies are sold over the internet.

The deal settles allegations by AOL that Microsoft used its great influence within the software industry to ensure the dominance of its “Internet Explorer” web browser program. AOL owns rival browser, Netscape.

The settlement reflects the push that both companies are making into the emerging world of digital media. Microsoft has agreed to a long-term license with AOL of software designed to prevent illegal copying and downloading of digital music, movies and content.

In addition, the two companies will look into integrating their two instant messaging networks to allow users of one company’s service to use the other. Microsoft will also provide AOL with technical information on its Windows operating systems, to ensure optimal performance by AOL services.