Microsoft buys hatchet from AOL

Microsoft has settled an antitrust lawsuit with AOL Time Warner and will end up paying the media giant a total of $750 million. In addition to the payout, Microsoft will also let AOL license the Internet Explorer browser for the next seven years. Given AOL's new access to Internet Explorer, I'd expect that Netscape will finally be put out to pasture, though AOL's official company line is that there are no plans to shut down the Netscape unit.

In addition to resolving the antitrust suit, Microsoft and AOL have also agreed to improve the interoperability of their respective instant messaging programs. The two companies will also be collaborating on Digital Rights Management software.

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