Bonum Certa Men Certa

How Novell and Others Were "Bought Out" by Microsoft

The price tag of corporate suicide

The idea of buying out your competitor or making money from a rival's sales is not new. The Comes vs Microsoft case (in Iowa) had that mentioned and we continue to see that pattern to this date. Only last month, in fact, it was XenSource.

Groklaw has the text from a new group interview about protocol licensing, interoperability, the ruling in Europe, and more. Here's a summary:

Sometimes folks try to characterize, or mischaracterize, the FOSS community. If you want to know what that community is like, it's like this, this interview, these four men who dared to try the impossible, with weapons of intellect and skill and integrity rather than money, men who couldn't be bought, who never gave up, and who happily lived to tell us the story with humor and pleasantness.

[...]

Georg Greve: 3.6 billion, I think, is the final count at some point. For Sun, for Novell, for Real, for the CCIA. I mean, they were all bought out of the case.


Remember that Samba rejected buyout attempts. Also consider Mary Jo Foley's analysis of this discussion.

Greve noted that by the time of the September 17 Court decision, Microsoft had “bought out” most of the companies who originally wanted the protocol information, specifically Novell, Sun and the Computer and Communications Information Association (which represented a number of Microsoft’s rivals). As a result, the only vendor who has been advocating actively for access to Microsoft’s protocols is Samba.


When money is permitted to stifle fair competition, everyone loses. With Novell, the customer and the developer lose. Only the management wins by making monetary gains (the consequences of "selling out").

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