Ungrateful Bastards: Novel Sues Microsoft After Big Payoff
Novell filed an antitrust lawsuit last week against Microsoft over alleged misdeeds that happened over 10 years ago.
Novell said it planned to move forward with the lawsuit when it announced a settlement with Microsoft on other antitrust claims. In that deal, Microsoft is to pay Novell $536 million, and Novell agreed to resolve all antitrust claims relating to Novell’s NetWare product, and any other products it currently owns.
Novell acquired Wordperfect in 1994 and during the same period bought Quattro Pro from Borland. The acquisitions amounted to a cost of one billion dollars. Eventually, Novell sold both applications to Corel for $170 million.
Although Novell no longer owns WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, the claims are “important and hold considerable value for Novell,” Joseph A. LaSala Jr., Novell’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “We intend to pursue aggressively a goal of recovering fair value for the harm caused to Novell’s business by Microsoft’s anticompetitive actions, stated LaSala.”
“Through this lawsuit, Novell seeks to blame Microsoft for its own mismanagement and poor business decisions,” according to Novell. “The record is clear that bad decisions and business mistakes are the reasons WordPerfect fell out of favor with consumers. It’s also unfortunate, and surprising, that Novell has just now chosen to litigate over a business it owned for a very short time and that it sold more than eight years ago.”
Microsoft countered, “It’s unfortunate, and surprising, that Novell has just now chosen to litigate over a business it owned for a very short time and that it sold more than eight years ago”.
Over the last two years Microsoft has employed a strategy of settling with litigants rather than fighting over every legal issue inch by inch. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the inches are starting to add up to feet and yards.
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