Microsoft settles Gateway case

Microsoft and Gateway today announced that they have entered into an agreement to resolve legal issues between the two companies.



Microsoft will provide funds that Gateway expects to use for marketing initiatives as well as the research, development and testing of new Gateway personal computing products that can run current Microsoft products and Microsoft’s next-generation operating system and productivity software.



The agreement provides for periodic Microsoft payments to Gateway totalling an aggregate amount of $150 million over four years. As part of this agreement, Gateway will release all antitrust claims against Microsoft based on past conduct.



Gateway’s claims arose from the circumstances of the United States v. Microsoft antitrust case in the mid-1990s, where Gateway was specifically identified in US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s findings of fact as having been impacted in its business by practices on which he ruled against Microsoft.



Under the statute of limitations, the time period for Gateway to bring claims against Microsoft based on these findings of fact expired in late 2003. Microsoft and Gateway entered into an agreement before that time to extend this period so they could explore an approach that would serve their mutual business and customer interests.



Today’s agreement resulted from a recent mediation between the parties, although Microsoft denies any liability to Gateway.