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Two weeks ago we wrote about Caldera evidence which Microsoft had destroyed. It was part of a settlement. Well, purely by coincidence it was only yesterday that Groklaw found and published details about this mysterious settlement. It has a lot to do with Novell and Pamela has the details.
[I]t is its theory, which it wants to do discovery to demonstrate, that Novell sold all its antitrust claims to Caldera, and that would kill off the two remaining claims Novell has brought against Microsoft in the antitrust case. Microsoft, not satisfied with what Novell produced or its reasons for refusing to produce some documents, brought a Motion to Compel Discovery [PDF] [Memorandum in Support (PDF)], and it has just been granted [PDF].
In Novell’s opposition [PDF] to the motion, it attached some exhibits, one of which is the settlement agreement [PDF] in the Caldera v. Microsoft litigation, as Exhibit K.
Finally, we get to read it, all except the exact figure that Microsoft paid to Caldera. But Microsoft does say, in the memorandum in support, on page 9, that Novell got “tens of millions of dollars” from the settlement, and a transcript [PDF] of a hearing in the Caldera litigation hints strongly, on page 9, that Novell contracted to get 20% of any recovery, so you can get an idea of how large the settlement figure was that Canopy received. I know some of you have wondered if that success inspired Caldera to sue IBM to try to get lightning to strike twice. The exhibits are where all the history comes out.
For example, we get to see Microsoft’s 1997 subpoena [PDF] to Novell in the Caldera case. And we find pieces of the APA between Caldera and Novell quoted here and there, although the document itself is under seal, I gather.
Thorough. You can see Microsoft wished to have this brought to a full stop, with nothing to rise from the dead in the future. The very muted press release announcing the settlement, but giving absolutely no details about it, is on page 12.
For background, readers might want to return to this recent post. The short story: Microsoft is repeating its pattern of destroying damaging evidence so as to avoid future action against its corruption. Those wanting to see similar examples would also appreciate some of Novell's own share of scandals.
Microsoft’s securities fraud might have it toppled just like Enron one day. But the relationships with the Bush administration has stood in the way of proper scrutiny. Remember: Microsoft is claimed to have lost $18 billion in 1998. It just plays financial games with assets that it may not really have. More details have been made available on this subject, courtesy of Bill Parish. █
Bill Gates has publicly said that this is his favorite publication on finance and economics. It is also generally believed to be the leading such publication in the world. In an 8/7/99 cover story, The Economist noted that a proper accounting at Microsoft would result in a loss of $18 billion for 1998 rather than the reported earnings of $4.5 billion. If you are not an accountant, don’t waste the time pretending you are, trust The Economist, the earnings are not real. Don’t let yourself be intimidated or deceived by financial analysts, TV commentators, bullies on Internet forums or Microsoft’s elaborate public relations campaign. Bill Gates trusts The Economist and you should too. Abbey Joseph Cohen and Rick Sherlund of Goldman Sachs have been sent this material numerous times over a 9 month period and neither has publicly divulged this situation.