Microsoft Corporation said yesterday that it would pay Gateway $150 million over four years to settle the computer maker’s claim that it was harmed by Microsoft’s abuse of its Windows monopoly.
Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash., said it would take a $123 million pretax charge in the quarter ended March 31 to account for the settlement. The company also said it would take a pretax charge of $41 million for an earlier settlement with Burst.com, and another charge of $550 million to reserve funds for other antitrust matters.
As part of the settlement, Gateway agreed to drop all antitrust claims against Microsoft. Microsoft denied any wrongdoing in the settlement.
Gateway, based in Irvine, Calif., said it would use the funds to create new personal computer products that work with Microsoft software, including the planned new Windows operating system.
The settlement marked the latest in a series of agreements Microsoft has reached to put various antitrust claims behind it.
Over the last two years, Microsoft has spent about $3 billion to settle private antitrust lawsuits filed by Time Warner, Sun Microsystems, Be Inc. and Novell. It also paid an undisclosed amount to a trade group that had backed antitrust complaints by the United States government and the European Union.
Microsoft still faces some antitrust hurdles.
The Novell settlement related to antitrust claims regarding its NetWare product. Less than a week after reaching that deal, Novell filed a lawsuit regarding WordPerfect, a product Novell used to own.
Microsoft also has been sued by RealNetworks, which is based in Seattle, and is currently appealing a $600 million European Union antitrust ruling against it.