Feeds

Trial documents reveal nature of MS-Pipex deal

There are some missing bits, but a story can still be pieced together

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

MS on Trial The trial transcript and some exhibits have thrown additional light on just what the UUNet Pipex and Microsoft sweethearts were up to in their dealings. At issue was not just a sweetener for Pipex to switch from Netscape to IE. It turns out that CEO Sidgmore had asked for $3.3 million, but agreed to accept $500,000 and money-off coupons for Windows NT training credits, as Pipex wished to start a new line of NT business, with some consultancy work by Microsoft. Pipex was also using the argument that it had a big Netscape distribution business and it would need some inducement to switch to IE. Pipex was put on the referral server. Meanwhile, Microsoft was also concerned that Demon had a significant web page hosting business in Europe but was highly resistant to using NT, so encouraging Pipex to go the NT route served to undermine Demon with an NT-based web hosting service. The deal therefore very much suited Microsoft, and possibly Pipex could have held out for a bigger bounty. Pipex's $500,000 invoice was for "IE training fund and startup expenses" and a 4 November 1996 internal email noted that Myhrvold had received the invoice and wanted to know "could this be associated with the Pipex IE deal?" On 12 December, Geoff Hughes, described by Myhrvold as a "remote employee" because he worked for Microsoft "in London", emailed Susan Norberg, Myhrvold's bean counter, to say that "there are no invoices" with Pipex and quoting the relevant part of the contract. The $500,000 was to be paid in two equal tranches, the first when Pipex had fulfilled some obligations (in Exhibits C and D, and not at present disclosed). The second tranche was due nine months after the payment of the first tranche, providing Pipex had stuck to its Exhibits C&D agreements. Unfortunately, the middle part of the email chain had been redacted (censored), but the context suggests it may refer to some plea by Pipex to pay the invoice. Hughes commented that "given their lack of response in shipping IE I am not in a hurry to give them anything right now!!! [the exhibit quality is poor, but there seems to be a "sad" face after the exclamation marks]. Myhrvold then emailed Norberg: "I actually think that tying the payment to their shipping IE is a great idea, though I would not do this formally." Before Boies produced this email, Myhrvold had denied the linkage. Myhrvold told Holley in redirect examination that: "I followed up with a phone call to Geoff Hughes to make it very clear that it would not be appropriate to tie the payment of the funds in the contract to Internet-to them shipping Internet explorer. My message to Geoff was if they had met the terms of the agreement for entering the NT-hosting business, then we should pay them the money that we agreed to. Boies seized on this in his recross examination and asked if there was any record of this telephone conversation, but of course there wasn't. ® Complete Register trial coverage

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.