Microsoft and AOL Time Warner say they'll collaborate to develop a, "successful digital media environment that's secure from piracy, open to all companies across multiple industries, and offers consumers access to broad content in a compelling manner that is easy to use."
If their accord works, between them they'll tie up instant-messaging services, among other things.
They've also agreed to a new royalty-free, seven-year license of Microsoft's browsing technology and, "a variety of steps designed to ensure that their products work better with each other."
The legal settlement resolves the private antitrust lawsuit filed against Microsoft in January, 2002 by AOL Time Warner's America Online on behalf of its subsidiary, Netscape Communications.
As part of the settlement, Microsoft will pay $750 million to AOL Time Warner.
In addition, Microsoft will provide the AOL online service with a new distribution channel for its software to, "certain PC users worldwide" and, "the two companies will cooperate to ensure the best possible AOL member experience on current and future Microsoft operating systems, including commitments by Microsoft for technical cooperation and information disclosures."
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