Day in Court
Today, it begins again. Microsoft will ask a panel of seven judges to reverse U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jacksons order to split the company and declare his finding that the company violated antitrust laws null and void. Dividing the company into disparate pieces always seemed a long shot. But now even its fiercest critics concede that published comments from Jackson may jeopardize the case.
Things arent looking up for Napster. The music sharing service last week offered to pay music labels $1 billion over five years in licensing fees; Sony, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group declined. Meanwhile, Napster has a March 2 hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel to determine the details of an injunction that would force Napster to stop allowing copyrighted music to be shared — effectively shutting the service down.
A group headed by Liberty Media will gain a majority share of six German cable television companies owned by Deutsche Telekom for more than $2 billion. The deal gives Liberty Chairman John Malone quick access to millions of homes in the enormous German TV market.
Sybase is buying application integration vendor New Era of Networks for $373 million in stock. Sybase said the deal can extend the functionality of Sybase users database applications to SAP R/3, Siebel Systems and e-commerce systems.
Hewlett-Packard last week announced the formation of the Embedded and Personal Systems division, which will develop “personal information appliances” and embedded technologies for smart appliances.
German engineering and electronics maker Siemens solidified its position in broadband access with the $1.5 billion purchase of Digital Subscriber Line gearmaker Efficient Networks.